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Stretch are a very common occurrence. They are these streak-like lines that are observed on the skin. They typically occur on the stomach, thighs, buttocks and breasts. Stretch marks are caused by sudden stretching of the skin, which can occur due to pregnancy, rapid weight gain and growth spurts during puberty.
Why are the causes of stretch marks:
Stretch marks occur in the dermis which contains fibres called collagen and elastin that provides the skin with its elasticity. However, if the skin is stretched too much over a short period of time the fibres over-stretch and break causing the dermis to tear. Thus, the blood vessels in the deeper layers of skin starts to show through. The exposed blood vessels contract with time and the underlying fat which is pale in colour, will show through make the stretch marks appear silvery-white in colour. People with more collagen in their skin are less likely to get stretch marks. Specialised hormones released during pregnancy to soften the ligaments in the pelvis to also soften the fibres in the skin making pregnant prone to stretch marks. People with darker skin are less likely to experience stretch marks.In some rare cases, the stretch marks can be caused due to another health condition like Cushing’s syndrome or the Marfan syndrome.
When the stretch marks are red or purple the IPL (intense pulsed light) laser is be used for reduction. Fraxel laser is used for stretch marks that have faded to the silvery-white colour. The micro trauma created by the laser stimulates the collagen production.
RF Microneedling uses very tiny microneedles to deliver safe radiofrequency energy into deeper layers of the skin. It targets the skin’s underlying support system of collagen fibres and restructures rebuilds it. This makes the skin appear smooth and firm.
It involves injecting specially chosen pigments into the deeper layers of skin in order to correct the colour of the stretch marks. This procedure helps reduce the appearance of stretch marks by making them look the same colour as the rest of the skin.
Platelet rich plasma therapy:
It involves injecting the stretch marks with the patient’s own platelets which in turn release growth factors into the skin. This promotes collagen synthesis and remodelling, thus, improving the appearance of the stretch marks over time.
Most of the over the counter stretch mark reducing products are essentially moisturisers with added ingredients such as vitamins, minerals, fruit extracts, peptides and anti-oxidants. These creams and lotion may make the skin look supple and moisturised but there is no evidence that they can reduce stretch marks.