What is a Stretch Mark?
In order to understand what a stretch mark is, we should explain the structure of the skin and how it works. The supportive tissue of normal skin has a porous network structure composed of 80% collagen and 4% elastin fibers. Elastin, a protein found in the structure of the skin, gives the skin its elasticity and enables its stretching. Elastin creates a structure like a fishing net that allows the skin to stretch and then retract to its original position.
“stretch marks are the elastin structures damaged.”
When these elastin fibers are damaged, the stretch marks with “scar” appearance develop. What makes the stretch marks notable is to what extent their appearance offends the eye, however, when you look under a microscope, you see no difference from the normal, healthy skin. When you touch a stretch mark, you almost feel a gap like there is no skin there. Although there is actually a very little change in the skin, the actual and visual perception is quite different.
What is the reason for stretch marks?
What is surprising about the stretch marks is that they are not actually caused by the “stretch” of the skin. People associate stretch marks with weight gain or pregnancy and think that the skin is stretched in order to fit this new, larger body. This association is so strong and the term of “stretch mark” reinforced this misperception a little more.
Are hormones the cause of stretch marks?
The real reason for stretch marks is hormones. Yes, the reason for this condition is hormonal effects. When people gain weight, hormones are produced and incorporated in the metabolic processes of adipocytes (fat cells). Therefore, when we gain and lose weight, the hormones in our body as well as those in our skin are influenced.
“stretch marks can be created in the laboratory.”
For example, using only strong local cortisone creams, artificial stretch marks were created on normal skin. This result was obtained without any weight gain or loss in the subject. Steroids are similar to the hormones in our bodies, thus they cause stretch marks when applied to the skin. Since the stretch of the skin is not the case, this experiment is a positive evidence indicating that the cause of stretch mark is not the “stretch” of the skin.
“Weight gain and pregnancy change hormones.”
Does weight gain cause stretch marks?
No, weight gain does not cause stretch marks. Gaining weight affects the hormones in your body and it is an important factor to the extent that it changes hormones, but it does not cause stretch marks. The real reason is the hormonal changes occurring as a function of weight gain.
Treatment for stretch marks
Although there are various treatments for improving stretch marks, no treatment is able to ensure that stretch marks disappear completely and return to the normal skin appearance. We can diminish redness, restore the tissue and make it seem better; even in some cases, we can render them easily unnoticeable.
“Accent Prime is a non-invasive, state-of-the-art platform for face & body contouring and aesthetic enhancement.”
RF and laser-based treatments improve the color and skin texture associated with stretch marks, with minimal pain and downtime. The treatments replace the older scarred tissue with new collagen and elastic fibers, minimizing the appearance of stretch marks and leaving patients with smoother, better-looking skin.The most important difference of this method from other therapies treatments is that it helps the skin to return to its normal structure without causing any injury.
At Bader Medical Institute of London, we have different solutions to combine with our senior expert specialists to to suit the needs and expectations, and to provide the best experience and treatments.