The medical term for stretchmarks is striae (stria for a single stretchmark). Skin with stretchmarks has been studied under my microscopic as far back as 1889. Every adult knows exactly what they appear like. They is usually caused by quick mechanical stretching from the skin or by hormones made by our bodies or taken externally. They can a good number of commonly be found on the abdomens of women of are pregnant (striae gravidarum) and on my shoulders of teenage body builders (striae distensae). They are also seen in overweight individuals, following rapid growth during puberty and adolescence, in people with Cushing's syndrome, after topical or prolonged remedy with steroids and on the breasts after breast augmentation or pregnancy and subsequent breast feeding. My combination of rapid growth within the early teen years and excessive fat gain is positive to result in stretchmarks.
As pregnancy progresses my breasts engorge/enlarge in preparation for breast feeding following delivery. Once breast feeding is completed they can shrink back down in size or deflate and in several situations even develop into smaller than they were in advance of my pregnancy. The degree of drooping that results is dependent upon my distinction in size between if they are the largest and as they have shrunk down in size. The appearance of stretchmarks is proportional towards the size they reach throughout engorgement. Sometimes a breastlift or breast implant is needed to improve the appear nevertheless these should not be executed until at least one year following stopping breast feeding. In other situations my stretchmarks can be a smaller amount visible on the deflated breast and much more visible following placing breast implants to re-inflate my breasts.
The factors that add to stretchmarks of pregnancy are family history of stretchmarks, younger age of mother (women in their 20s), more fat increase during pregnancy, and bigger infant birth fat and older gestational age at delivery. They tend to show up in the last Three months of pregnancy as skin stretching is maximal plus the skin has had long term exposure towards the hormones of pregnancy. Many people claim my application of cocoa butter will prevent these stretchmarks nevertheless this has for no reason proven to be my case. There is some proof though that topical vitamin E may be preventative. This is most probably as it acts as antagonist for the hormones that lead to stretchmark formation. One has to be careful though because I have witnessed patients develop allergic skin reactions following long term utility of offered topical vitamin E preparations. Retin-A has a similar result on stretchmark prevention nevertheless cannot be made use of in the course of pregnancy because it can cause deformities inside the baby. It therefore is only of preventive use within the bodybuilder etc. Ironically a women may not develop stretchmarks following my very first baby nevertheless then do thus following the second.
At a microscopic level we see alignment of collagen fibers into parallel sheets instead of my normal random orientation of the fibers present in normal skin. Also, there is a flattening on the normally wavy or sinusoidal junction among deep and superficial skin. This makes my stretchmark skin extra susceptible to shearing forces hence if you pulled at my skin it would disrupt along the striae very first. The truth is in morbidly obese patients with hanging abdominal skin when I glance under the fold of skin I see striae and if large enough the fat with the excess tissue partially tears the skin open along the striae.
An evolution of these striae has been noted. They start out flat using a faint pink color and sometimes itch. Overtime they widen, lengthen and darken in color. Following many decades they fade whiten and develop into depressed. If my stretchmarks are pink a flashlamp laser is usually made use of to lessen the redness and this makes them a smaller amount noticeable but this laser can depigment darker skin. Further just fractional CO2 laser has been shown to promote collagen production within my stretchmarks and yield some visible progress. Radiofrequency method has shown similar results nevertheless the degree of development is less. Others have tried chemical peels. None of these cures has been able to erase stretchmarks and multiple applications are usually necessary prior to any result is seen.
The only cure that always removes stretchmarks is an abdominoplasty or tummy tuck however this only works for stretchmarks below the belly button.