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Let’s talk stretch marks & it’s science

Updated: Nov 1, 2019

Whether they're from puberty, pregnancy, or weight gain, most of us have stretch marks. The marks range from silvery lines to thick, red slashes and can appear anywhere from your breasts to your knees and your thighs. And now scientists have figured out exactly why and how these lesions happen.

Stretch Marks – The Science behind Problem

You may have recently seen the holiday photo posted by famous blogger and mother of three, Rachel Hollis, with the caption “I have stretch marks and I wear a bikini”. This inspirational post encouraging body confidence went viral as soon as it was posted and rightly so. We at Beauty by the Geeks want to delve further into this issue and find out how exactly we get these stretch marks and for those of you who aren’t as confident as Mrs Hollis, can anything be done about them?

The Science behind the Problem

Striae, or stretch marks, are naturally occurring narrow lesions caused by excessive stretching of the skin. They do not impair the function of the skin as a protective barrier but have had a lot of cosmetic attention over the years. So why do we get these marks? The most common causes of stretch marks are pregnancy and growth spurts during puberty, but they can also be a result of weight gain and rapid muscle gain. There are also some rare conditions involving the connective tissues of the body that can lead to stretch marks.

The science behind striae is something which has caused a lot of dispute among scientists. It is known however, that stretch marks are a result of the body’s response to stretching (these scientists are a clever bunch aren’t they!). The most recent research has shown that there is an association between dermal lymphocytic inflammation (white blood cell build up in the skin), elastolysis (loss of dermal fibres) and a scarring response.

The dermis is made up of a number of structures which provide support to the skin. These include collagens and elastic fibres which form a network of fibres. This structure allows the skin to stretch during underlying tissue expansion. However, it is thought that if this stretching occurs rapidly these collagen and elastic fibres can become thin and over-stretched. There is a loss of normal collagen distribution and an absence of elastin fibres. When this happens tiny tears occur in this layer of the skin to reveal the blood vessels which lie under the skin. These marks first appear reddish in colour and slowly fade as the blood vessels contract and the fat lining of the skin becomes more visible. Striae are more prominent when coupled with increased in the levels of cortisone, a hormone produced by the adrenal glands which weakens elastic fibres of the skin.

Treatment After searching through an excess of scientific articles on the matter one thing became very clear – there is no miracle treatment that will get rid of stretch marks forever. But we have one of the top treatments to help reduce the stretch marks by 80% and make those marks less noticeable.

Want to learn more ? Call us and book a free consultation.

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