ABC Medical Center > Padecimientos > Stretch marks

Stretch marks

21:54 - 4 May , 2021

Disease

What is Stretch marks?

It refers to the formation of lines that appear in various parts of the body where the skin has been stretched, especially in areas that usually store fat, such as breasts, hips, abdomen, upper arms, and buttocks, among others. 

Stretch marks do not cause pain or represent any health risk, in addition to the fact that there is no treatment that helps prevent their appearance. However, their appearance is not usually to the liking of many people, especially women, who are the ones who suffer from them most frequently. 

The main cause of stretch marks is the stretching of the skin and the degree or intensity will depend on genetics, how much the skin was stretched, and the amount of cortisol you have, since this hormone wears down the skin, reducing its elasticity.

Some factors that can contribute to a greater extent to the formation of stretch marks are:

  • Family history.
  • Rapid development in adolescence.
  • Pregnancy.
  • Taking anabolic steroids to increase muscle mass.
  • Breast augmentation surgery.
  • Being a woman.
  • Sudden weight gain or loss.
  • Genetic abnormalities. 
  • Receive corticosteroid treatment.

In general, stretch marks have differences regarding the time of their appearance, their causes, the area of the body in which they are found, and your skin type. The most common are:

  • Satin lines that fade. 
  • Pink, reddish, blue, or burgundy lines.
  • Continuous lines on the breasts, hips, abdomen, buttocks, or other parts of the body.
  • Extensive lines that completely cover body areas.

Sometimes stretch marks disappear on their own, but it is best to see a dermatologist to examine your skin and assess the origin of your stretch marks in order to study the best alternatives for your case. 

Diagnosis and treatment

After analyzing your clinical history and performing a physical examination of your skin, your doctor will define the treatment or recommendations to follow. If you think that the stretch marks may be due to an increase in cortisol, it is likely that you will require some additional tests.

The vast majority of treatments seek to smooth these lines that disfigure the skin and that may never completely disappear, which consist of:

  • Using lotions with retinoids, which, as they derive from vitamin A, can help regenerate the skin’s collagen. 
  • Phototherapy or laser to intensify collagen generation and make the skin more elastic. 
  • Microneedles to stimulate collagen generation with greater control over pigmentation. 
  • Plastic surgery.

Talk to your doctor about what would be the most appropriate treatments for you, considering how long ago the stretch marks appeared, your skin type, the cost-benefit ratio, and the treatment expectations.

In ABC Medical Center’s Internal Medicine Department, we offer health care services with the highest quality and safety, from the prevention, diagnosis, timely treatment, and monitoring of infectious, respiratory, endocrinological, dermatological, rheumatic, nephrological, gastrointestinal, and hematological pathologies of both chronic-degenerative diseases and acute conditions, through a comprehensive and multidisciplinary model.

Fuentes:

  • mayoclinic.org
  • medlineplus.gov
  • elsevier.es
  • childrensmn.org
  • medigraphic.com
  • Vélez UK, Hernández-Pérez E. Tratamiento de las estrías distensas. Dermatología Cosmética, Médica y Quirúrgica. 2006;4(1):27-32.
  • Medina-Murillo R, Rodríguez-Medina U. Dermoabrasión con microagujas. Rev Hosp Jua Mex. 2015;82(1):26-36.
  • Posada C, de La Torre C. Estrías de distensión: actitud de los dermatólogos. Dermatología Cosmética, Médica y Quirúrgica. 2011;9(4):314-316.
  • Leal SH, Carmona HE, Leal DS. Tecnología en dermatología. Dermatología Cosmética, Médica y Quirúrgica. 2016;14(2):142-151.

						
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