Stretch marks

About Stretch marks

Stretch marks or striae, as they are referred to in dermatology, are a form of skin scars which generally appear like fine lines with ridges, almost like indentations sometimes. They are often red or purple at first, before gradually fading to a silvery-white color. They generally happen over the abdomen, buttocks, thighs, upper arms, shoulders, and breasts. Stretch marks are generally associated with pregnancy and obesity.

Stretch marks

Depending on the genetic tendency and skin repairing potential, intensity and extent of stretch marks varies between individuals. Both genders are affected with slight female preponderance. Stretch marks happen because of permanent rupture of skin dermal fibers, collagen and elastin. Stop expecting that they would disappear on their own; it necessitate treatment to fade them away.

These marks are caused for different reasons such as weight gain, pregnancy, adolescent growth spurts, and even genetics. Stretch marks are not limited to gender; they can happen in both men and women. They can also appear on young teens as well as adults. Stretch marks occur because of tear in the resilient deep tissue in the skin which imparts support to the skin. This happens due to breaking down of collagen and elastin fibers (supporting proteins) secondary to excessive expansion of body tissues. They start as red or pink lines but gradually turn into silver or white streaks.

The skin is the body’s largest organ and has the remarkable capability to expand and contract as needed.

The skin is strong and elastic, but its supporting tissues can be damaged if they stretch too far or too quickly. This rapid expanding of the skin can lead to stretch marks. Up to 90 percent of women get stretch marks during pregnancy. However, stretch marks can affect people of nearly all ages and skin types.

Risk factors

The reason why some people get stretch marks and others do not remains unclear. Some people may simply be more prone to getting stretch marks due to genetics or certain hormone levels.

This allows underlying blood vessels to show through, leaving behind the telltale red or purplish marks.

Similarly, people who are taking steroid medications or using topical steroid creams may be more likely to get stretch marks.

This may be because steroid hormones weaken collagen in the skin, making it more likely to break. Genetics plays a role. Some skin types are more prone to stretch marks than others.

Treatments for stretch marks


There is little evidence to confirm that tretinoin works, a cream containing 0.1 percent tretinoin cream was shown to help diminish early stretch marks in one early study.

Tretinoin often called by its brand name Retin-A, can reason side effects, such as redness and peeling. Pregnant or nursing women should not use this drug.

Laser or light therapy

Laser therapy is one of the newest treatments for stretch marks that appear to be effective in reducing their appearance.

Pulsed dye lasers and intense pulsed light can improve the appearance of stretch marks and enlarge collagen production over time.

For further information, please don’t hesitate to contact us.