Stretch marks are the linear stripes or uneven lines that usually occur during pregnancy on belly and breasts or over hips, shoulders, legs & inner thighs or knees when they grow in size faster than the skin natural elasticity. However, due to this sudden skin stretch, the elasticity of skin tears causing the formation of whitish, pinkish, or purple lines.
Stretch marks initially appear pinkish or purple in color and later look white or silver in color.
DO’s and Don’ts to help prevent stretch marks:
Do treat fresh marks when they appear
Do not waste your time or expect the results with only creams or ointment
Do control your weight
Do not gain sudden weight
Do keep well moisturized to promote pliant and supple skin
Do not choose poor lifestyle choices like stress, smoking etc can break the collagen in the skin
Do eat skin-nourishing foods, such as vegetables packed with antioxidants, like spinach, carrots, and sweet potatoes
Do not consume unhealthy food, oily or Chinese food
Do drink enough water to keep your skin hydrated and soft
Do not overexpose to sunlight
Do include vitamin C, D, E and zinc in your diet,which is an important for the development of collagen.
Do not drinking caffeinated beverages, like coffee
Do keep going with your pregnancy exercise regimen
Do not forget to wear a well-fitting, supportive bra during pregnancy to avoid marks over the breast
Do choose the reputed laser centre to get the best results, as nowadays various new lasers & energy based devices are available in the market
Stretch marks can occur on anyone’s body. The following are causes of
Common physiological causes:
· Pregnancy: while pregnancy the belly area is enlarged unusually which stretches the skin to its limit and after delivery, it gets back to its original state, and leave stretch marks due to loss of elasticity.
· Weight gain: due to unhealthy eating lifestyles or medical conditions, we are supposed to gain weight rapidly. The sudden increase in size, the skin again expands to accommodate the additional size, loses some elasticity because of which stretch marks appear.
· Weight loss: sudden loss of weight leaves stretch marks due to loss of elasticity.
· Puberty: the children grow very abruptly during puberty in height as well as weight. This rapid growth puts pressure on the skin and the stretch marks appear on the back, knees, shoulder area, or belly.
Other medical conditions:
· Systemic overuse of steroid.
· Cushing syndrome
· Hormonal imbalance
· Topical use of corticosteroid creams
· Marfan syndrome
· Ehlers- Danlos syndrome
Stretch marks are formed if a particular body part undergoes extreme expansion or contraction. Due to the sudden episode, the skin on returning to its original state, it fails to regain the previous elasticity. Hence it results in linear stripes or uneven lines, which are initially reddish in color and later becomes white.
Stretch marks are one type of scar, hence they can’t be removed completely but with medical treatments, we can reduce its visibility and make them almost non-visible.
Here are mentioned some medical treatments for pregnancy stretch marks:
Retinoid Cream: It is derived from vitamin A. Retinoids such as tretinoin helps to rebuild collagen, making the stretch marks look more like your normal skin.
Alphastria & Trofolastin Creams
Alphastria cream contains hyaluronic acid and trofolastin cream contains extract of Centella Asiatica which is a medical herb, promotes collagen production, and helps in the reduction of stretch marks.
Silicone gel applied on stretch mark skin, stimulate collagen production, and lowers melanin levels; thus making the stretch marks less visible.
Various peels are used, to peel off the superficial layer of the skin. It induces breakdown of the older collagen and formation of new collagen which in turn helps in rejuvenation and reduction of stretch marks. This is a lunchtime procedure and has minimal downtime.
This is a non-invasive treatment, involves a hand-held device that blows crystals onto the skin. These crystals gently remove a fine layer of skin, promoting the growth of new, elastic skin, that helps reduce the visibility of stretch marks.
This process is also called as collagen induction therapy. Microneedling creates multiple tiny holes on the skin. These tiny holes trigger collagen and elastin production. It needs at least 5-7 sessions to get the maximum results.
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is a new, known treatment used for stretch marks. The injected PRP into the skin assists in the rebuilding of collagen and makes the stretch marks less visible. In combination with laser or other interventional treatment, PRP will have a synergistic effect in reducing stretch marks.
Light / Energy-based treatment: A variety of light and laser therapies are available to help stimulate the growth of collagen or elastin in your skin.
Laser treatment: This is a popular and scientifically proved option. A beam of highly concentrated light is focused on the skin to dismantle the outer layer of skin in order to facilitate new skin generation that will better match the existing skin. There are two different lasers:
Ablative lasers: the outer layer of the skin is dismantling to produce a fresher and younger-looking skin. Non-ablative lasers: the laser focuses the skin below the outer layer, promotes the collagen growth, and in turn makes the skin lighter and smoother. These laser treatments have become is popular is due to the minimal time.
Fractional micro-needle RF:
Enerjet: faster recovery time, hence a person can recover in a few sessions.
However, most common causes of stretch marks are due to physiological changes in the body but can occur in anyone. Although harmless in nature but in some it definitely reduces the aesthetic appearance of the individual, which may impact self-image and self-confidence. Hence, we at Clear Skin Laser Centre provide the most advanced energy-based or laser treatments in our country to achieve the faster and best results for stretch marks.