Striae or Stretch Marks
What Exactly are Striae or Stretch Marks?
Striae or Stretch marks appear when your skin is suddenly stretched. When rapid growth occurs, the dermis becomes stretched and the fibres within it tear. Skin is fairly elastic in nature but the dermal layer reaches a point where it can’t stretch any more and tiny tears appear. These tears expose the layer below which is rich in blood vessels, hence the pink or reddy brown appearance of the striae.
Causes of Striae
Pregnancy (Striae Gravidarum)
Hormonal activity such as that seen during pregnancy can make stretch marks more likely. Hormones that are produced by your body during pregnancy help to soften the ligaments (strong bands of tissue connecting joints) in your pelvis, so that they give more when you come to deliver your baby. However, these hormones also soften the fibres in your skin, making you prone to stretch marks. You may develop stretch marks on your abdomen (stomach) as your skin is gradually stretched further and further. Stretch marks may also appear on your thighs and breasts.
Other Rapid Weight Gain (Striae Atrophicae)
If you gain weight rapidly you can develop striae. If you put on too much weight, ie body fat then they can develop literally anywhere. Body builders sometimes get stretch marks when they rapidly gain muscle mass.
Adolescence is often a time of rapid growth and striae commonly form at this time. Often they can form in what might seem like unusual places such as the lower back but this is usually linked to a growth spurt where height has been gained rapidly.
are areas of the skin where the collagen has degraded due to hormonal activity and excessively fast growth such as is seen during pregnancy. We offer effective stretch mark treatments to repair the skin and reduce stretch marks target collagen synthesis, helping the body produce new collagen in the area to repair the stretch marks and helping reduce the appearance of stretch marks. Whilst stretch marks will not completely disappear, they can be significantly reduced.
There is often a genetic predisposition to stretch marks. Inherited skin type can affect how likely you may be to develop them. Also, there are certain genetic conditions which may mean you may develop them such as Cushings Syndrome and Marfans Syndrome.
You may develop stretch marks if you use corticosteroid medicines, such as creams, lotions or tablets for eczema or other chronic conditions.
Corticosteroid medications can ease the inflammation that is caused by skin conditions, but they can also decrease the amount of collagen that is in your skin. Since collagen is needed to keep your skin stretchy, the less there is in your skin, the more likely it is that stretch marks will develop.
Treatment for Striae or Stretch Marks
We offer treatments for striae based on either reducing existing ones or helping to prevent them from forming. Prevention is always better than cure since although you can reduce their appearance, they will never go completely.
Reduction of existing stretch marks can be often achieved using a combination of medical skin needling using growth factors to encourage the body to make fresh collagen followed by topical home care. If striae are very minor then home treatment may be all that is necessary. Read more about stretch mark reduction treatment>>
Prevention is far better than cure with most things and striae are no exception. If you are pregnant and have either formed stretch marks in the past or have a family history of them or if you just want to ensure you have the best chance of not developing them then speak to us about our clinically proven stretch mark prevention products. Read more about preventing stretch marks>>
Evolutions Clinic offers effective treatment for many skin blemishes including striae and other scars. Call us today for a free consultation on 01962 809937