Stretch marks

Stretch marks usually appear on the breasts, hips, thighs, buttocks, abdomen and sides, usually due to weight gain, pregnancy and adolescence as they grow.

What are stretch marks?

Stretch marks are marks, in the form of long, fine lines, that appear when the skin is stretched too much in a short time, causing the elastic fibers to break.

Like wrinkles, stretch marks involve a breakdown of collagen in the dermal matrix. This happens when the tissue undergoes tissue expansion or dilation.

If we were to use magnification to see the stretch marks up close, we would see a tear in the dermis. This is produced because the dermis cannot support the increase in tissue volume.

When the elasticity of the skin fails, the scar is created due to the tearing of the fibers. After this, the process of connective tissue repair takes place, by filling the empty spaces and creating cellular bridges that join both edges of the striae. In the last phrases of regeneration, regeneration affects healthy skin until it changes its structure and shrinks.

Why do stretch marks appear?

In addition to sudden changes in body volume, stretch marks can appear due to the influence of some corticosteroid medications and even genetic predisposition.

When there is a rapid growth or decrease in body volume, the skin suffers due to tension and, although it tries, it does not have sufficient capacity to produce enough cells to balance the stretching.

Who is affected by stretch marks?

Although some people think that stretch marks only affect women, the truth is that men also get them. They can appear anywhere on the body, including the face, although they are more common in areas where fat is usually stored, such as the chest, arms, thighs, abdomen and buttocks.

Phases of stretch marks

During the growth of stretch marks, we can distinguish two phases:

  • During the inflammatory phase, stretch marks are usually reddish in color and soft in texture.
  • When they look white, in the scar phase, it means that there is no longer blood supply. On palpation, it is common to note a void or depth between the two edges of the striae.

How to get rid of stretch marks

Stretch marks are also called stretch marks and they usually disappear naturally when the process that generated them is interrupted. This is the case, for example, with growth during puberty and also during pregnancy.

Cosmetic treatments are not very effective in the attempt to correct stretch marks, so the best way to fight them is prevention. However, attempts can be made to improve the quality of the striated tissue through substances with moisturizing and stimulating action.

In any case, before working on a stretch mark, it is essential to study and understand what caused it. By studying the cause, a correct choice of active ingredients can be made according to their action.

Although moisturizing is very important, it is not enough to put an end to stretch marks, as this action does not provide the skin with sufficient resistance. Likewise, treatment will not be the same if performed during the inflammatory or scar phase.

Commitment to quality

This text on stretch marks has been written by professional editors and reviewed by Sisneo’s medical-aesthetic team. In addition, we have relied on experts in medicine, engineering and aesthetics as a source of information, as well as specific studies to maintain the quality of what we publish.

At Sisneo Bioscience we are committed to publish truthful and contrasted information. And to update or correct it as soon as new knowledge becomes available.

Among others, we have used the following references:

  • Ana Ayala. «Las estrías. Etiología, clínica y tratamiento» en Offarm vol. 19 no. 2: 74-83.
  • Hague A and Bayat A. «Therapeutic targets in the management of striae distensae: A systematic review» en Journal of the American Academy of Dermatoly. 2017;77(3):559-68. doi: 10.1016/j.jaad.2017.02.048. Epub 2017 May 24.