Stretch marks are the result of damaged elastin within the dermis skin layer. While harmless, stretch marks can look unpleasant and are difficult to treat.They appear as long, narrow grooves on the skin changing their color from red in the acute stage to white in the chronic state.
They are mostly caused by rapid stretching or shrinkage of skin. Various factors contributing to their formation are:
- Rapid weight gain or weight loss
- Use of topical steroids
- Weight training
- Growth spurt during puberty
- Medical conditions like Marfan syndrome.
Most common sites for stretch marks are the high fat containing areas like abdomen, buttocks, thighs, upper arms, breasts, underarms, shoulders.
Topical treatments like silicone gels, hyaluronic acid, vitamin E, moisturizers have not provided much success in the management of stretch marks.
Treatment modalities with good outcomes are: