Stretch Marks

Stretch marks, also known as striae, are reddish-pink indented lines that appear on the skin due to rapid stretching or shrinking, and often fade to a silvery-white over time. They commonly occur during pregnancy, weight fluctuations, puberty, and bodybuilding. The middle layer of the skin (dermis) is rich in collagen and elastin fibers, which provide elasticity. When the skin stretches rapidly, these fibers tear, leading to stretch mark formation.

Causes: Beyond rapid stretching or shrinking, factors like genetics, skin type, and hormonal changes (like those during pregnancy) can influence the development and severity of stretch marks. Corticosteroid use can also increase the risk.

Treatments: While complete removal is challenging, treatments can improve their appearance. Topical retinoids, creams containing hyaluronic acid, microneedling, and laser therapy are some options. Early intervention is generally more effective.

Disclaimer: The effectiveness of treatments for stretch marks varies, and complete elimination might not be achievable.