Stretch marks: what causes and how to get rid of?

, medical expert
Last reviewed: 23.04.2024

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Skin stretchings are more correct, it is more correct to call striae (striae). In order to understand what are stretch marks, you need to delve a little into the skin structure.

The skin should ideally retain its turgor and be elastic, not succumbing to changes occurring in its deeper layers. However, under the influence of some factors, the synthesis of collagen and its ally - elastin - is reduced in the surface layers of the skin, special substances - fibroblasts, which prevent the skin from retaining its elasticity begin to actively work. Thus, the intracutaneous tissue increases, and the outer layer of the skin does not have time to stretch with the same speed and, as a result, the mesh gap of the dermis breaks. Also broken into the vessels located under the skin, collagen fibers, elastin. The result - a specific "failure", a dent, which, of course, does not harm the general state of health, but cause a lot of anxiety and anxiety due to its unaesthetic appearance. The body does not tolerate voids even in the skin layers and tries to compensate for micro-ruptures with a connective tissue. These intradermal "dips", ruptures are called stretch marks, and the places where the connective cells have formed look like scars of white color.


What causes stretch marks?

The causes that provoke stretch marks can be completely different. Moreover, stretch marks can not be considered a purely female problem, in some diseases, representatives of the strong half of humanity can also have stretch marks on their bodies. 

The main cause of the appearance of striae are hormonal failures, changes in any etiology, both natural and pathological. Skin stretches can "beautify" the body during a period of rapid sexual development, endocrine pathologies also provoke the appearance of stretch marks due to their hormone dependence. As for the hormonal cause, even long-term use of hormonal drugs can provoke stretch marks. 

The next most important reason - a sharp change in body weight, like a strong weight loss, and a set of extra pounds exposes the outer layer of the epidermis to stress. Most often stretch marks accompany the joyful period of pregnancy, slightly overshadowing the life of the future mother with their visual unaesthetic manifestations. The more a woman gains weight (and the weight and speed of the set affect the elasticity), the more scars she has on her body. The hips and abdomen are the most exposed due to the fact that it is there that the subcutaneous fat layer accumulates. Less often in this sense, the chest suffers, the skin there is more elastic and adaptive to changes.

Skin stretch marks are classically considered to be the subject of women's anxiety, but striae can also appear in men who are overweight or have hormonal pathologies. Often stretch marks appear in men in old age, which is also associated with hormonal changes in the body. Baby stretch marks are also a fairly frequent phenomenon. In general, striae occur in adolescents in the puberty period, boys are less likely, girls are much more likely. Skin stretch marks can be in children and with more serious health problems, for example, scleroderma. Then striae are localized in not quite typical places - on the back, legs and even face.

How are stria formed?

Stretch marks appear rather hidden. At first, an almost invisible strip is formed, then the next one joins it. Usually such early striae are symmetrical, colored not brightly and practically invisible. It happens that the early manifestations of stretch marks look like unusual elongated pale bruises. This indicates the rupture of blood vessels, capillaries in the deep layers of the epidermis. Gradually, the gaps begin to be compensated for by the formed connective tissue, which also "stains" the stretches in white. Skin stretching becomes like pale scars.

Is it possible to cure and remove skin stretch marks?

The most effective methods of treatment are professional, salon procedures in specialized centers.

How to remove stretch marks of the skin you decide. The most effective and popular methods of stretch marks therapy: 

  • The laser method. It is effective in the initial stage, when the skin stretch marks are pinkish and did not go to the scarring stage. The method is considered sparing, it has been used for a long time. If necessary, the planned course (3-5 procedures) can be repeated after a few months. 
  • Wraps are shown for stretch marks of small length, mainly in nulliparous young women. The wrap is a preventive procedure rather than a therapeutically effective one. 
  • Mesotherapy gives excellent results in the fight, not only with stretch marks, but also another misfortune of many women - cellulite. Typically, 10-15 sessions are prescribed. The procedure is aimed not only at smoothing out the dips, but also in restoring the elasticity of the skin. 
  • Micro-grinding (microdermabrasion). Actually this procedure is an abrasive peeling. The skin is treated with a stream of tiny abrasive particles, by means of which the upper layer of the epidermis is correctly cleaned, thus restoring not only the elasticity, but also activating the metabolic processes in the deeper layers of the skin. Such polishing as if "awakens" the synthesis of collagen fibers with elastin. The procedure can be carried out according to the number of stretch marks. 
  • Microcurrents help to form a new, living tissue under the scars. With the help of impulse, elastin and collagen resume their synthesis and gradually replace scar tissue. 

If the stretch marks on the body are extensive or appeared long ago and turned into appreciable scars, a surgical operation is sometimes prescribed. Of course, surgical intervention is carried out at the request of a person striving to get rid of striae, because stretch marks themselves are not a threat to health. The operation is always a risk, so it is only in extreme cases that it is agreed.

How to get rid of stretch marks at home?

In the list of effective methods, the following can be noted: 

  • Home peeling with the help of special peeling agents. Such a procedure should be carried out regularly. It gives results only in cases of early stretch marks, when they are not filled with a connective tissue. White scars subject to peeling is not only useless, but also dangerous (you can provoke the proliferation of connective tissue). 
  • Wraps at home. As a remedy, essential oils (orange, lemon, bergamot) and salts are used. 
  • Massage with the help of special cosmetology devices designed for home use. Suitable and massage with a hard washcloth, special roller. Before the massage, apply the cream from stretch marks or olive oil.

Skin stretch marks are easier to prevent than to fight them

Therefore, preventive measures need not only to know, but also to use as often as possible. Prevention of striae affects literally all women, regardless of whether gaining weight or not, because the female body is extremely susceptible to hormonal changes, therefore, the threat of the appearance of stretch marks always exists

Preventive measures: 

  • Vitamin therapy - group B, PP, ascorbic acid, vitamins A and E. 
  • The use of products containing polyunsaturated omega-acids (sea fish, seeds, olive oil). 
  • Constant monitoring of skin elasticity. It is necessary to take care not only of the skin of the face, but also of the skin of the whole body. 
  • The use of oily preparations is externally applied to the risk areas. 
  • Using proven means of cosmeceuticals. 
  • Compliance with water, drinking regimen to maintain skin elasticity. 
  • Refusal from bad habits (smoking). 
  • Observance of a rational diet. 
  • Control of body weight.

Stretch marks are unfamiliar to those who care about health in general. However, there are hereditary factors that can provoke the appearance of striae (structure, skin structure, hormonal background). In such cases, cosmetology offers a lot of effective, safe ways to regain the beauty of the body and forget about the experiences about stretch marks.

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