Stretch marks are nothing more than scars that form under the skin as a result of the sudden tension applied to our skin. Stretch marks appear after weight gain, sudden increase in height during puberty or during pregnancy. Essentially, they occur when the skin loses its elasticity. Depending on the natural skin type, stretch marks can be white-light pink, red or purple in colour and they mainly appear on the thighs, buttocks, abdomen and chest. These rod-shaped lines are not health-threatening, but they do lead to aesthetic and psychological problems.
Although the appearance of stretch marks is a problem that mainly concerns the female gender, this does not mean that men cannot develop stretch marks, especially after sudden weight fluctuations. Stretch marks are a form of scarring that develop on the skin and usually have a linear pattern. Stretch marks may be skin-colored or show a reddish tinge when they are more recent. They are scars located in the deeper layers of the skin. The skin over the stretch marks is normal, instead the dermis and subcutaneous tissue shows a tear that leads to the appearance of the stretch mark.
Pregnancy stretch marks can only be partially prevented by using special creams recommended by dermatologists and by avoiding excessive weight gain. But often, as Dermatologist - Venereologist Dr. Amalia Tsiatoura stated, despite all the preventive measures, pregnancy stretch marks appear as early as the 3rd-4th month. Initially, pregnancy stretch marks are perceived as dermatitis as there is a feeling of itching or burning in the areas where they appear. Later on the areas of pregnancy stretch marks may show scaling and erythema. During pregnancy, few measures can be taken after the appearance of pregnancy stretch marks. The use of special topical creams and petroleum jelly formulations prevent and protect against the extension of pregnancy stretch marks. Diet rich in fruits, vegetables, B, C and E vitamins help in healing and reducing pregnancy stretch marks.
The pregnant woman should be patient, follow measures that will limit the expansion of pregnancy stretch marks and immediately after delivery treat them with CO2 Fractional laser and autologous growth factors PRP mesotherapy.
Pregnancy stretch marks as well as any other cause can be completely eliminated when treatment is started at an early stage when they are still red. Usually the sessions for complete elimination of these are 5-6 at this stage.
When the stretch marks become white, their complete elimination is difficult but not impossible. Here 8-10 fractional laser sessions combined with autologous PRP mesotherapy once a month may be required. Usually a 60-85% reduction is achieved when pregnancy stretch marks are in their late stage and are white.
The symptoms of stretch marks are varied and include the following. Stretch marks initially appear as red or violet streaks which over time become discolored and atrophic. Stretch marks can appear anywhere on the body, but they tend to occur in places where fat accumulates. The most common locations for stretch marks are the abdomen, chest, thighs, buttocks, hips and arms (forearms). In men, stretch marks also appear on the chest, back and arms due to an increase in muscle mass.
Stretch marks when they appear can cause a burning or itching sensation, as well as a pulling sensation and pain. The skin may flake off over the stretch marks. Although they are harmless and do not interfere with the body's normal function and healing ability, they are an aesthetic problem for many women and men.
When stretch marks are associated with chronic cortisone use they may be combined with skin thinning, bruising, reduced healing, central obesity (on the trunk), acne and hyperpigmentation or acne, and fat in the neck area is common.
The length of time that the stretch marks will remain red is unknown. The only certainty is that if they are red one should hurry, as the complete disappearance of stretch marks at this stage can be complete and permanent.
Cosmetic Derma Medicine Medical Group is the largest and highly specialized medical group in the field of Dermatology and Plastic Surgery, with 14 clinics in Greece and Cyprus.
The Medical Director of Cosmetic Derma Medicine is the Dermatologist - Venereologist Dr. Amalia Tsiatoura, while the staff consists of a medical team of highly experienced and specialized doctors of many different specialties, as well as a fully qualified team of nurses. Our team is at your side every day, 24/7 for whatever you need.