What are stretch marks? All you need to know about causes and treatments

Dr. Namballa Gowthami
January 08, 2021

Blemishes aren’t something most of us are comfortable with and stretch marks are among the many varieties of scars that everyone encounters at some point in life. Stretch marks are legions, also known as striae, which are formed when the skin is stretched suddenly. The body’s skin is elastic in nature and accommodates for gradual mass gain well; however, sudden stretching over a short period of time causes a layer of skin to tear and leave marks. In fact, during pregnancy, between 50% and 90% of pregnant women get stretch marks either during or after giving birth.  


While stretch marks aren’t a sign of illness or disease, they do deserve your attention and care. These marks are permanent, and though they may become less visible over time, can make you less confident about your appearance. To remedy this, your best options are to either control the development of stretch marks or try common practices for stretch marks removal as a cosmetic solution. 


There are several stretch marks home remedies that you can consider to achieve this naturally. In most cases, it is misinformation or the lack of knowledge about stretch marks that drives many to seek stretch marks treatment without proper guidance. To avoid this, here’s all you need to know about stretch marks.  


Where are the common areas to get stretch marks? 


Stretch marks are scars that usually form wherever your skin gets stretchedWhile there are few common areas where most people see stretch marksit is important to note that they can appear almost anywhere.  


Usually, stretch marks appear on the: 

  • Flank 
  • Breasts 
  • Hips 
  • Thighs  
  • Abdomen 
  • Buttocks 

What are the causes of stretch marks? 


To understand what causes stretch marks, you should first be aware of the fact that they form in the dermis. This is the middle layer of the skin and as it tears, it reveals the deeper layers of skin.  


Common factors that are responsible for stretching skin include: 

  • Puberty 
  • Pregnancy 
  • Corticosteroid use 
  • Cushing’s syndrome 
  • Rapid weight gain or loss 

What are the symptoms of stretch marks? 


The most noticeable symptom of stretch marks is itchy or irritated skin. Following which, you’ll notice streaks or indented skin, which can either be red, black, pink, blue or purple in colour. These can be small, based on the tearor even cover up a large portion of the body. If in any case, the stretch marks cover a sizable portion of the body, visit a specialist for stretch marks treatment.   


What are common stretch mark treatment options? 


There are several options you can avail to get treatment for stretch marks. These are split into medical treatments and home remedies. Here is a list of a few options in each category 

  1. Medical treatments for stretch marks 
  • Cosmetic surgery 
  • Microdermabrasion 
  • Excimer laser therapy 
  • Pulsed-dye laser therapy 
  • Fractional CO2 laser therapy 
  • Radiofrequency 
  • Chemical peels

    2.Home remedies for stretch marks 

  • Collagen boosters 
  • Cocoa butter 
  • Moisturisers 
  • Self-tanning products 
  • Aloe vera 
  • Coconut oil  


While you can also try a stretch marks cream, these are usually reported to be ineffective and may be based on false claims. It is best to consult a dermatologist for the best stretch marks cream or treatment. 


How can you prevent stretch marks? 


While stretch marks appear naturally and cannot always be prevented, there are ways to go about decreasing the chances of stretch marks appearing on your body.


Here are a few practices that help decrease the likelihood of stretch marks:

  • Drink enough water during the day 
  • Avoid gaining a lot of weight too quickly, especially during pregnancy 
  • Steer clear of yo-yo dieting or weight cycling practices 
  • Get enough vitamins and minerals through your diet. Vitamins A and C are particularly important for healthy skin.  

Developing stretch marks in pregnancy or even otherwise shouldn’t be viewed as something abnormal. Remember, such marks are common and there are many ways you can help them become less noticeable over time. Whether it is with help of prescribed stretch marks removal cream, self tanning products or any other form of stretch marks treatment, these marks can fade. 


For the best care, see a trusted dermatologist who has extensive cosmetic experience and good reviews. An easy way for you to do this is to search for one using the Bajaj Finserv Health App.


For instance, simply type ‘dermatologist surgeon near me’ on the app to find a list of the best medical professionals in your vicinity. What’s more, this app also supports e-consults via telemedicine so you can book appointments digitally and even carry out an assessment with a doctor over video, call or chat.


With a wide range of doctors and specialists and a smart interface with features that help you assess your health risk, set medicine reminders and store your health records safely online, this app brings healthcare right to your fingertips! Experience it now by downloading the free Bajaj Finserv Health App on Google Play or on the Apple App Store.