Stretch marks are perhaps one of the things that make summer and wearing swimwear uncomfortable. True to their name, stretch marks result from the force of stretching on your skin. They are actually a form of scarring that is usually associated with rapid weight gain – during pregnancy for example. They can also occur as a result of rapid growth during puberty, and are occasionally associated with muscle building and bulking up. Stretch marks can be found anywhere on your body, but they’re most common on your breasts, upper arms, thighs, stomach and buttocks. They aren’t dangerous, and they often disappear with time.
Stretch marks typically appear as parallel lines. They are a different texture and color than your normal skin – ranging from transparent, silvery grey, to purple to bright pink. Stretch marks vary depending on how long you’ve had them, what caused them, where they are on your body, and the type of skin you have. When you touch stretch marks, you may feel a slight ridge or indentation on your skin. Occasionally, stretch marks may itch or feel painful.
The severity of stretch marks is affected by several factors, including your genetic history, the degree of stress on your skin and your cortisone levels. Cortisone is a hormone produced by the adrenal glands that weakens the elastic fibers in your skin.
Some factors that increase your likelihood of getting stretch marks are undergoing breast enlargement surgery, having a family history of stretch marks, pregnancy, rapidly gaining or losing weight, using a corticosteroid medication, or having Marfan syndrome, Cushing’s syndrome, or certain other genetic disorders.
The good news is, stretch marks can be effectively treated with laser therapies. If you have stretch marks and have questions about their treatment, call Dr. Tess and schedule a consultation appointment, today!