We all have them, we all dislike them… Those purplish, white stripes running along our bodies, making us feel insecure and flawed. Nevertheless, you are definitely not alone. Stretch marks affect mostly woman but men can suffer from them too. To find out more on how to treat stretch marks effectively, we first need to take a deeper look at how and especially why they develop. What are stretch marks and why do they develop?
Stretch marks are scars or disfiguring lesions. They are also called striae, striae distensae (SD), striae atrophicans, and striae gravidarum. Even though they have these fancy names, it doesn’t excuse the fact that they do not look fancy at all. And no, stretch marks are not physically dangerous but for many individuals, it can cause some problems with self-image and anxiety.
Before stretch marks begin to emerge, the skin can appear thin and purple. The area may also feel irritated or itchy. You might not realise it, but this is the perfect stage to start treating the developing striae.
The marks then continue to develop as wrinkly, raised streaks that can be either red, purple, pink, reddish-brown or dark brown depending on the surrounding skin colour. After some time and if untreated, the streaks eventually fade and flatten and tend to change to a silvery or white colour. They may gradually become less noticeable without intervention. However, this can often take months or even years.
Common causes of Stretch Marks include:
· Pregnancy: between 50-90% of women experience striae during or even long after giving birth
· Puberty: rapid growth is typical in young people going through puberty. The sudden stretching of skin can lead to the development of early signs of stretch marks
· Rapid weight gain and weight loss: putting on a lot of weight or losing extreme amounts of weight suddenly, causes stress on the skin.
To sum up the causes of stretch marks mentioned above, the skin consists of three key layers. Stretch marks form in the dermis, or middle layer, when the connective tissue is stretched beyond the limits of its elasticity. This is normally due to rapid expansion or contraction of the skin.
How to treat Stretch Marks effectively
There are a number of ways that we, at Aesthetic Centre Olympia, can effectively treat your areas of concerns. Our qualified aestheticians will determine which treatment plan will work best for you.
With our BTL X-Wave Therapy, the skin is stimulated by pulsation waves, leading to smoother, tighter skin on the surface. Another way to treat striae is through Microneedling and application of active ingredients to strengthen and supplement the skin. By opening and “wounding” the skin with tiny needle punctures, your body’s own collagen and wound healing process is stimulated which can lead to less visible scarring and redness on the area of concern.
It is important to remember that all individuals have unique concerns and contributing factors to their stretch marks and that these need to be taken into consideration when planning the best treatment approach. It is therefore always recommended to discuss these with your treating aesthetician to determine a tailored approach.