Stretch marks are considered to be dermal scars or disfiguring lesions, characterized by flattening and atrophy (wasting or degeneration) of the epidermis (the outermost layer of the skin). They are long, narrow streaks that are visible on the skin's surface and are the result of a sudden stretching of the skin.
Stretch marks are distinguished by linear, smooth bands on the skin that, depending on skin color, can appear as red or purple that fade over time, leaving silvery pale marks.
While not medically dangerous, aesthetically, the marks can cause a person’s self-confidence to decrease. Occurring in 40-90% of women, stretch marks appear following rapid repeated over-stretching of the skin over weak connective tissue.
As Skin and Laser Technicians (many being working mums), we understand what it’s like to have skin concerns such as stretchmarks. Have you ever heard someone talk about how much they love their stretch marks? Didn’t think so…
We regularly treat clients who have stretchmarks as a result of genetic skin conditions, post pregnancy and/or weight gain. The three main layers of the skin are the epidermis, dermis and hypodermis. Stretch marks are caused when the dermis is stretched so rapidly it tears. This type of scarring happens when the skin cannot bounce back. The marks begin with a slightly red or purple shade and then fade, leaving the skin streaked in silvery white lines that may or may not disappear.
Stretch marks are common during the later stages of pregnancy; occurrence is dependent on skin type and skin elasticity. Hormones are produced during pregnancy that soften pelvic ligaments and increase their flexibility. Hormones also soften skin fibers, giving an increased risk of stretch marks. The stretch marks appear on the woman's stomach as the baby grows and can sometimes be found on the thighs and breasts.
The body goes through rapid growth cycles during puberty, which can cause the development of stretch marks on boys' shoulders and backs as well as girls' hips, thighs and breasts.
Rapid weight gain
Stretch marks become apparent if weight is gained over a short period. In many cases, when bodybuilders and athletes increase muscle mass, stretch marks become more visible.
Medical conditions that overproduce the hormone cortisol and conditions such as Marfan syndrome weakens the body's tissue and elasticity due to a faulty gene. Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS) is a rare inherited condition that disrupts the integrity of structural proteins in the skin which can also cause stretch marks.
For some, prolonged or inappropriate use of various steroid creams and lotions that are used to treat eczema can cause stretch marks by decreasing the amount of collagen in the skin.
Late-stage faded stretch marks are a type of scar characterized by a loss of collagen - a type of protein fiber found throughout the body, providing strength and cushioning to many different areas, including the skin - and elastic fibers in the dermis. The dermis is the layer of sensitive connective tissue of the skin located below the epidermis, containing nerve endings, sweat and sebaceous glands, and blood and lymph vessels.
Stretch marks appear following rapid repeated over-stretching of the skin over weak connective tissue.
The most common areas affected are the abdomen, breasts, hips, sides, buttocks and thighs.
Depending on your skin condition, treatment prices vary as our team of expert Dermal Therapists will tailor a treatment plan to suit your skin condition ensuring long term successful results.
If you have a timeframe and budget in mind, it is best to advise your Dermal Therapist so a plan considering your lifestyle and budget can be taken into consideration.
Book in a free skin consultation at your choice clinic destination. This will allow our team to assess your skin, medical information and lifestyle thoroughly. Once this is completed, we will begin your treatment journey to stretch mark free skin!
Please note, our experienced and professional team of Dermal Therapists are highly trained to treat stretch marks. We are accredited and qualified in using medical grade apparatus and performing advanced skin treatments.