Caused by stretching skin, it can still be a mystery why stretch marks form in some people and not others. Stretch marks don’t always look the same, and there are several variations in appearance, sometimes on a single patient. Stretch marks most frequently appear when body size changes quickly, such as during puberty, pregnancy, or weight gain or loss. Certain genetic conditions and corticosteroid medications also aggravate the condition. Further, natural cortisone levels can weaken the elastic fibers within the skin; when these fibers fail, this produces stretch marks.
Many factors affect the appearance of stretch marks, including how long they’ve been around, skin type and color, and where they appear on the body. Some common variations of stretch mark types include:
Stretch marks tend to affect certain parts of the body more often. These locations include breasts, hips, buttocks, abdomen, thighs, and arms. They may be limited in size or covering wide areas of the body.
The appearance of stretch marks reflects damage to the elastin and collagen layers in the dermis region of the skin. There’s no longer support for the outer layers. While most people would consider stretch marks to be “damage,” the body’s repair systems don’t recognize them as so. This is where laser treatment comes in. Essential Aesthetics and Laser uses the CynoSure Icon system for stretch mark treatment. Used with the 1540 fractional laser handpiece, the Icon laser penetrates deep into the skin to warm the collagen and elastin tissue a few degrees above the normal body temperature. This kick-starts the body’s rejuvenating process into gear, and not only is new tissue formed, the old tissue is flushed through the lymphatic system. This provides a smoother base for external skin and reduces the intensity of any hyperpigmentation in the treatment area.
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