Striae Distensae or Stretch Marks
The stretch mark also known as striae distensae or singular striae in dermatology, is a thin line which is strategically placed on certain areas of the body where there is also a higher predisposition of getting fat. Stretch marks are caused by some sort of alteration of the elasticity of the skin. They can be found on the abdomen, thighs, breasts, buttocks and upper arm region. At first, the stretch marks appear to be rendered in a purple-red and after a period of time, they change colour into a lighter tone than the skin, and it remains visible on an undetermined period of time.
Stretch marks can appear during puberty, being related to a certain degree of obesity or an increased level of cortisone. They can be present as a side effect of the Cushing Syndrome or be provoked by a corticosteroid treatment. Stretch marks are also surely to be found on most pregnant women starting with their 6th month, as an effect because of the development of the child leading to intense skin stretching.
They do not present any sort of pain. Stretch marks are just an aesthetic inconvenient for most of the female patients.
Pregnant women present stretch marks on the abdomen and thighs. Stretch marks appear because of the intense stretching of the skin. The collagen fibers and dermis proteins are somewhat damaged. After rupturing the collagen fibers, the capillaries nearby dilate and that area gains excessive blood, which contributes to the red color of the stretch marks. Melanocytes play an important role in this process. After the inflammations appears, and the restoration and remodeling process takes place, melanocytes are responsible for rendering the stretch marks in white.
- Massaging the affected area with a brush in order to intensify blood flow;
- Applying emollient creams on the affected areas so that the skin stays thin;
- Dietary rich in vitamins C and E, zinc and silicate and minerals which contribute to maintaining health;
- Drink plenty of liquids and exercise a lot in order to maintain a good blood flow in the subcutaneous tissues.
Other means of treatment:
- Applying topical retinoids – Retinoids are derived from vitamin A. They are usually used in skin lesions;
- Laser therapy – it consists of 6 sessions and does not remove the stretch marks completely;
- Chemical peeling – it has the role of removing the superficial layers of the skin. It also has the role of collagen synthesis.
You cannot get rid of stretch marks without the help of a dermatologist or a plastic surgeon.