About Stretch Marks

Stretch marks (striae) are a type of scar that occurs when rapid tearing of the dermis stretches collagen fibres. Able to affect all skin types, conditions and colours, stretch marks may appear as red or purple lines that fade to a white / silver colour. As stretch marks are a condition of the dermis, the superficial application of moisturiser to the epidermis has little effect when it comes to preventing, reducing or removing stretch marks.

Stretch marks occur when the skin is pulled by rapid growth or stretching. Although our skin is resilient, when it’s overstretched, the normal production of collagen is disrupted. As a result, stretch marks can form. A number of causes promote the formation and appearance of stretch marks, with the main causes being:

  • Rapid weight gain or loss / Rapid body growth during puberty

Stretch marks may occur during various phases of life, but usually start in young teens going through puberty. As the body grows and expands, we experience stretch marks as particular parts of the body such as breasts and hips grow, and the skin can only stretch so much. When people gain weight, the skin is overstretched and the collagen in the skin is changed. This results in the formation of stretch marks.

  • Pregnancy

Medically known as striae gravidarum, ninety per cent of pregnant women get stretch marks due to the rapid growth of the baby causing the abdominal area to stretch. This usually occurs in the third trimester, as the abdominal skin is forced to accommodate the growing uterus. Some pregnant women also develop stretch marks on the breasts, hips, buttocks and thighs. These often remain after pregnancy, which is why we’re approached by many new mothers seeking assistance with removing stretch marks.

Stretch marks often vary in colour and can be anywhere from a few centimetres to a few inches long. They most commonly appear on:

  • Abdomen
  • Breasts
  • Upper Arms
  • Thighs
  • Hips
  • Buttocks

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