The striking marks of scarring apparent on the dermis are referred to as 'striae' or stretch marks in dermatological jargon. Marked by drastic stretching on the elastic dermal layer; stretch marks take long time to disappear completely. Triggered by various anatomical factors, stretch marks occur on account of intense pulling force exerted on skin.

Causes of Stretch Marks

  • As a result of the breaking down of dermis, skin overstretches leading to the formation of stretch marks.
  • Pregnancy giving way to an increased body weight leads to the mentioned breaking down of dermis.
  • Hormonal changes during pregnancy and lactation can also bring about stretch marks. On account of the hormonal changes the dermal layer is prevented from making use of its collagen and elasticity; which in turn leads to the stretch.
  • Similar stretching can take place owing to the hormonal changes induced during puberty.
  • Sudden increase or decrease of body weight can also cause stretch marks.
  • Even hormonal factors can make a person liable to developing stretch marks.
  • Gymnastic activities such as body building and heavy weight lifting can also bring about stretch marks.

Symptoms of Stretch Marks

  • Essentially self healing in nature, the concerned marks are more prone to appearing on areas storing fat.
  • Accordingly, areas such as naval, breasts, backs, thighs and hips are more vulnerable to stretch marks.
  • Usually affecting the middle layer of the dermis; stretch marks initially appear in reddish hue.
  • Initially reddish in appearance, they change over to white or silvery in color.
  • The stretch marks are also marked by deep serration.
  • They fade out in color with the gradual passage of time.
  • Usually affecting women during pregnancy and lactating phase; stretch marks are basically benign in nature; posing little or no health risk.
  • Aesthetically speaking they can be a source of irritating botheration.

Types of Stretch Marks

  • According to the cause contributing to its occurrence, stretch marks can be categorized into three different types.
  • Stretch marks related to hormonal change and pregnancy.
  • Stretch marks related to gain in weight.
  • The ones related to spurt in growth.

Diagnoses for Stretch Marks

  • As stretch marks are outwardly apparent, one can easily detect their appearance.
  • However visit to the dermatologist is necessary because by way of his analysis, your doctor will be able to decide your skin type.
  • Determination of the type will enable him decide the course of treatment.

Treatment for Stretch Marks Removal

  • Various dermatological and surgical techniques are in vogue for overcoming the damaging effects of stretch marks.
  • Surgical procedure involving the mechanical removal of the skin's external layer may be resorted to.
  • Laser treatment has also been found to be an effective option for removing the evil effects of stretch marks. Laser therapy not only works by destroying the scarred tissue but also by activating the growth of collagen and restructuring of elastin.
  • Certain ointments boosting skin's collagen content are also recommended; but the results have not been found to be too satisfactory.

Self care to Prevent Stretch Mark and Stretch Mark Removal Tips

  • Several self care regimens are effective in getting rid of stretch marks.
  • They include exercise geared to toning of body muscles.
  • Going for balanced meal insisting on the consumption of fruits enriched with collagen and anti oxidants is also effective in dealing with stretch marks.
  • Consumption of unsweetened fruit juice and plenty of leafy vegetables can help substantially in toning the skin.
  • Plenty of water drunk is also effective in keeping the body well hydrated. The moisture helps substantially in aiding elasticity.
  • Similarly effective is the consumption of different kinds of berries.
  • Creams and lotion enriched with aloe and Vitamin E can also come in handy.
  • Amongst the topically applicable remedial options include the use of paste made out of oatmeal hot water.
  • Application of baby oil is also one of the remedial options.
  • Similar paste may be enriched with the nutrient content of Vitamin E caps before applying the same on the affected parts.
  • Exfoliation of the skin with a body wash containing a similar scrub may prove to be effective.
  • In order to get rid of those irritating stretch marks cocoa butter with its moisturizing content can prove to be equally effective.
  • In case you are looking for topical measures of remedy in order to overcome the ugly looking stretch marks; the best option would be to get one recommended by dermatologist.
  • Guidance of physician is even more necessary during pregnancy. In place of going in for ointments based on chemical, safer option would be to moisturize the areas of occurrence.

Irrespective of the means of remedy resorted to, it should be borne in mind that stretch marks may gradually thin or fade out in color; but getting rid of them in totality may be a remote possibility.