Learn How Stretch Marks Can Be Effectively Treated

Learn How Stretch Marks Can Be Effectively Treated

Stretch Marks
Stretch Marks

Stretch marks are also called striae. Striae are initially thin red lines that typically occur on the skin of the thighs, abdomen, or breasts. Over time, the red lines fade from purple to a silver white. If in abundance, the marks can be unsightly.

Stretch lines are formed when the skin is over stretched thereby causing damage to the collagen fibers. Collagen is the major structural protein of the skin. When the skin�s collagen fibers are damaged, the skin loses a significant amount of elasticity. As a consequence, the skin becomes thinner in the overstretched areas thereby causing the onset of visible striae.

Stretch lines are commonly caused by (1) rapid weight gains, followed with the loss of weight (2) hormonal changes and (3) pregnancy. Striae are more pronounced when the weight is lost. Because the skin has lost a considerable amount of elasticity, the striae now appear as silverish-white lines. The silverish-white lines are actually scars where the damaged tissues have healed.

Hormonal changes and stretching of the skin during pregnancy and adolescence are believed to cause the skin to become thinner and more vulnerable to stretch marks. Stretch marks caused by pregnancy tend to be more pronounced with greater weight gain. The new striations formed during pregnancy are initially reddish-purple when they first form. Eventually, the striations of pregnancy will fade away.

Stretch lines that are purple also develop in people who have Cushing�s Syndrome. Cushing�s Syndrome is a rare disease which there is an excess amount of the hormone called cortisol in the blood. The skin of these individuals may be thin and bruise easily. A hall mark of the disease is the development of purple stretch lines on the abdomen, breasts, and thighs. If you note these stretch lines, especially if you are not pregnant, you should consult with your doctor immediately. Your doctor will order blood and urine tests to make sure that your stretch marks are not caused by Cushing�s Syndrome.

Prior to the development of laser technology, the only treatment available for stretch lines was a topical cream containing tretinoin (Retin-A). The cream must be applied to the affected area daily over several months before any visible results can be seen. Retin-a can help improve the appearance of stretch lines, especially those of recent onset. However, Retin-A is not effective for the treatment of old stretch marks because the damage is now beneath the skin.

Laser treatment can be effective in the treatment of stretch lines, especially those of recent onset. Lasers work by stimulating the production of new collagen. The new collagen replaces the damaged collagen. Improvement can be seen after one or two treatments. The appearance of the skin improves as new collagen is formed. However, a series of five to six treatments at intervals of a few weeks are needed for maximum results.


In summary, laser treatment is much more effective in the treatment of recent stretch marks than Retin-A topical creams. Although Retin-A and laser treatment can improve the appearance of stretch marks of recent onset, they are not effective for old ones.

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Learn How Stretch Marks Can Be Effectively Treated Learn How Stretch Marks Can Be Effectively Treated Reviewed by Roshna Rosho on 9:50:00 AM Rating: 5

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