Dermatological Treatments
Stretch marks
Information on Stretch Marks
The stretch marks are thin streaks or folds on the surface of the epidermis and usually appear in the chest, abdomen, arms and thighs, both in men and women. Stretch marks are formed in the dermis, the middle layer of the skin that allows it to retain its shape. When it is constantly stretched, the dermis can break, creating externally what we call stretch marks. Depending on the natural tone of the skin, stretch marks begin as pink, reddish or brown lines, which later take on a lighter purple color. Gradually the lines become flat and fade, acquiring a colour slightly lighter than your natural one. Over time this lack of colour leads to white or translucent scars, which result in mature stretch marks.
What Causes Stretch Marks?
Stretch marks occur when the skin stretches excessively. Increased amounts of cortisone in the body weaken the elastic fibers of the skin and so it is easier to show stretch marks. Other factors contributing to the formation of stretch marks are sudden weight gain and inherited disorders such as Cushing's syndrome, Marfan syndrome and Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. At the same time, some bad habits, such as diet low in vitamin A and proteins, which enhances cell production, and smoking, can also be responsible for reducing the elasticity of the skin.

Pregnancy Stretch Marks
One of the main causes of stretch marks in women is pregnancy. They are usually observed during the 4th month of pregnancy and appear as red-coloured scars that will gradually become white. The main suspect is the new hormonal balance that favors fluid retention and hardens the skin fibers. At the same time, the intense stretching of the skin creates many small ruptures associated with small vessel ruptures. After giving birth, the skin is gradually restored. However, it is difficult to completely disappear and therefore it is prudent during pregnancy to focus on their prevention so that they are not created from the beginning.

To prevent stretch marks during pregnancy, doctors advise:
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Keep a balanced diet
  • Try not to get too many pounds during pregnancy
  • Use a good moisturizing cream in the morning on the areas where stretch marks appear, ie throughout the belly, the arms and chest. There are moisturizing creams especially esigned for pregnant women or you can use a simple oil such as olive oil or coconut oil. In any case, you should avoid products containing chemicals during pregnancy. At the end of pregnancy, you can use creams containing retinoids or glycolic acid.

When and How Do Stretch Marks Appear?
Stretch marks are one of the most common skin problems fortunately limited to an aesthetic level. They occur in both men and women, usually in the abdomen, arms, chest, buttocks and thighs. When they are created, a burning or prickling sensation may occur in the areas where they are going to be formed, and this is a good warning signal to prevent them.
At their early stages, stretch marks have a reddish colour due to hyperemia and are an imprint. At this point, it is very easy to treat them and eliminate them even with the local use of special cream as they are still at an early stage.
At the next stage, stretch marks are gradually decolourized until they reach a tone lighter than our skin, which remains glossy but in the touch there is a sense of thinning of the skin and wrinkling of the epidermis. At this point we should use more effective treatments to soothe and perhaps eliminate stretch marks.

How To Tackle with Stretch Marks?
The fight against stretch marks is not recent. Since ancient times, they have been using olive oil, frankincense and other vegetable oils to prevent stretch marks and retain a glossy skin.
In modern times, various formulations containing tretinoin, glycolic acid and fruit amino acids are being reported to be more effective against stretch marks than traditional vegetable oils. The truth is that without proper hydration of the body (6-8 water per day) and daily exercise, it is difficult to prevent stretch marks by using only one cream. We also have to pay attention to sudden weight changes, especially if there are inherited reasons. Also, some prevention can be achieved by the use of local lubricants and vaseline products.
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