What causes stretch marks?
Stretch marks are actually a form of scarring that occurs in the middle layer of the skin. This middle layer is caused by the dermis. Stretch marks occur when the collagen fibers within the dermis are stretched beyond normal limits, which causes the fibers to tear. Our body repairs itself, but because of the abnormal or prolonged stretching of the skin, the dermis repaired becomes scarred.
Some activity-based causes of stretch marks include pregnancy, intense weight lifting, and obesity. Stretch marks can also be caused by a disease called Cushing’s syndrome. Genetic factors contributed to by Cushing’s disease can increase the risk of developing striae. A genetic test for Cushing’s disease can tell you if you have the genes to suffer from this disease and its symptoms.
Stretch marks are considered a cosmetic concern and are not a health risk. However, this cosmetic concern must be taken seriously. The appearance of stretch marks may deter some people from wanting to get rid of them. In addition, some medications, steroids, and bodybuilders may potentiate the appearance of stretch marks. In addition, the following factors may potentiate their formation:
Hormonal changes during puberty, pregnancy, obesity, or weight lifting.
Infection with the bacteria surrounding sore throats.
Use of tanning pills
Some steroids other than steroids may be of concern to the formation of striae.
Alcohol consumption, smoking, and use of massage equipment.
Pregnant women who obtain medications to treat striae.
Hormonal disorders during puberty, pregnancy and obesity.
Use of steroids other than steroids.
Some medications such as DEA, if over-dosing on cortisol steroids, may potentiate the appearance of striae.
New methods to treat striae
decadent rose oil and cocoa butter to softly rub the striae area with it regularly till it is healed. Water-based blaugrure may also be used. Natural oils may also be used like jasmine, rose, and sandalwood.
If the striae are peeled back, and herbal cauterization gel may be used to burn off the darkened skin. Creams containing vitamin E and silica can also be applied to improve the skin texture in the striae area.
Endermologie is also a new method that promises to peel back the skin and stimulate the production of new skin cells. It costs around $50.000 and it currently is available in a laser surgery clinic. It may take around 20 to 30 minutes.
In alternative treatment, fractional laser resurfacing may be considered. This method produces instant results. To reduce the healing time, pulse dye laser therapy is now observed to remove striae as fast as 5 to 20 minutes. This method is less expensive compared to other laser technologies.
No side effects or pain are associated. Therefore, these technologies may be observed to treat rapidly and expense effectively.
The fractional laser technology uses scattered pulse dye lasers. This is currently the most efficient technology to treat striae. This technique is found to be more effective compared to other technologies. If your striae are darker in color, the laser might not be an option, since it would take longer to treat.
The procedure is not painful. It only requires a few settings depending on the age and the severity of the striae.
The immediate result is supple and healthy skin. If required, a few follow-up sittings are required to keep the result.
There are different types of laser treatments. Your doctor may choose to use a carbon dioxide laser, Er: YAG laser, or a pulse dye laser.
All these laser treatments cause some pain. If you feel that the treatment causes pain, you may opt for a pain-free treatment.
The balance of this article is aimed at treating early and growing stretch marks. It does not address the effects of over-stretched skin.