What are stretch marks?
Stretch marks are also called striae which are visible lines on the skin’s surface. It is scarring of the skin mostly associated with weight gain, pregnancy and obesity. Stretch marks are usually found in the abdominal wall. They are found on the middle layer of the skin, the dermis which maintains shape. It can also occur in upper arms, buttocks and breasts. It can cover a large area of the body. The connecting fibre tissues of the skin are dismantled. Collagen production is arrested, causing scarring.
- Some major causes of stretch marks are:
- Body building – developing muscles pushes the skin to stretch its limits
- Puberty – any kind of growth during puberty can result in stretch marks
- Steroids – excessive and long term use of topical and oral steroids can cause stretch marks
- Ethnicity- dark skinned people may not develop as many stretch marks as light skinned ones
- Genetics-stretch marks are genetically handed down from one generation to another
During this procedure, light is passed on the thin layers of the skin on the area of the stretch marks. The ultraviolet light disturbs the molecular bonds on the tissue and disintegrates it. This process is known as ablation. Once the mark is removed, the area heals and layers of healthy skin grow in its place. The only side effects noted are redness and tenderness of the area. Sometimes even blisters and burns are noticed. All side effects are temporary and patients heal in just a few days.
Dermarollers can remove old stretchmarks. It is a very simple process. A topical anaesthetic may be applied. The derma roller is then run up on the stretch marks. The derma roller has about 192 tiny needles. These needles penetrate the dermis and epidermis and cause wounds with no blood. The healing process then begins. During healing, the skin produces collagen and elastin essential for healthy skins. Side effects include reddening of skin which can easily be smoothed out with gel or lotion.