The skin has the ability to expand and contract when necessary. Although it is strong and elastic, its supporting tissues can be damaged if it is stretched too far or too quickly. And it is precisely this rapid expansion of the skin that can cause stretch marks.
Stretch marks appear when there is a distension of the skin that breaks the elastic fibers. The abrupt change causes the collagen and elastin, which support our skin, to break down. These linear atrophic plaques are located mainly in the breasts, abdomen, hips and thighs.
They are more likely to appear after growth spurts that occur in the adolescence, during pregnancy, after weight loss or gain in a short time, for medical conditions such as Marfan syndrome and Cushing’s syndrome (when the body has a high level of the hormone cortisol).
also for the use prolonged corticosteroid, which can decrease collagen levels in the skin. They affect a large number of people, especially womenspecifically twice more in women than in men and in 77% of pregnant women.
Experts speak of two types of stretch marks, depending on the phase in which they are found: the red ones, which is when they start and indicate that there is an increase in vascularization in the area, with a slightly raised and itchy appearance; Y the white oneswhich are those that are in the healing phase and are an evolution of the red ones and in which, in addition to a loss of color, a thinning of the skin surface is observed.
It is common that, when passing the finger over a long-standing stretch mark, we feel a slight depression. The dermis, which can no longer stand the epidermis appears wrinkled. At its level we do not find hair, sebaceous or sweat secretions.
They are usually multiple and grouped in a bundle of parallel lines along the lines of skin division and often adopt a symmetrical arrangement. Although they are not painful, can affect confidence and self-esteem of a person and are usually a frequent reason for consultation due to the aesthetic discomfort they generate.
Like any scar, stretch marks are irreversible and permanent. There is no treatment that eliminates them completely, although some can make them less noticeable. But it is important to keep in mind that there is no single treatment that works for everyone.
As indicated by the Spanish Academy of Dermatology and Venereology (AEDV), for reddish stretch marks, the treatment is complex and there is no specific one established, but it does talk about:
In the case of white stretch marks, experts highlight as treatment:
It should be noted that, with treatment, stretch marks improve but don’t go away completely. Although it may be worth treating them, they will not disappear completely, but will improve in appearance.
It is not always possible to prevent the appearance of stretch marks. While research has yet to find the product to prevent stretch marks, monitoring changes in our body can be a good way to keep skin looking healthy and smooth.
There are a number of steps that can help reduce the risk:
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