Stretch It Out
Medically known as striae, stretch marks occur when the skin is stretched too far too quickly, causing dermal tearing and a destruction of the skin’s scaffolding, namely elastin and collagen. The most common cause of stretch marks in rapid growth, which most commonly happens during puberty, but can also occur during other times in your life. For instance, if someone gains weight rapidly (including during pregnancy – stretch marks affect 90% of all expectant mothers) stretch marks can appear in areas such as the abdomen, arms, thighs and buttocks. Certain medications can also lead to the formation of stretch marks, including corticosteroid creams and the long-term use of oral or systemic steroids; while diseases involving the adrenal gland, in particular, can lead to their appearance.
In general, the colour of your stretch marks determines how easy they will be to treat. If your stretch marks are red, it means they have recently appeared and so you have a better chance at treating their appearance. But stretch marks that are silver, and therefore older, will be more difficult to fade.
When it comes to treating and removing stretch marks there are several options. For a non-invasive approach, laser treatments can work brilliantly on all areas of the body. Using high powered lasers, you can remove the damaged layers of skin, but there is a caveat: it may take up to 10 sessions to achieve your desired outcome. For those with lower stomach stretch marks, the best – albeit a more invasive – option is abdominoplasty, or a tummy tuck, which will physically remove the section of skin where the stretch marks exist completely.