Stretch marks, or striae, can make your skin look uneven and may leave you feeling self-conscious.
These scars develop when the skin stretches or shrinks too quickly. While permanent, treatment can help significantly lighten them.
I'm not sure if what I have are stretch marks, what do they look like?
Stretch marks create a ridged effect...
Can anyone get stretch marks?
While women in general are much more likely to develop stretch marks, other factors can heighten your risk as well, including:
Many patients are also more susceptible to stretch marks due to conditions such as diabetes or Cushing's Disease.
How do stretch marks form?
Rapid and excessive weight gain directly causes stretch marks.
Are stretch marks common?
Are stretch marks easy to diagnose?
Since stretch marks have unique physical characteristics, they are fairly easy to diagnose. Your doctor can simply examine your skin to determine whether the scarring is stretch marks or another skin condition.
If they believe that an underlying condition may be contributing to your stretch marks, further testing may be needed to ensure it is addressed.
Is there any way to prevent stretch marks?
I've seen a lot of over-the-counter products that claim to eliminate stretch marks...
"In-office procedures have proven more effective than the creams, lotions, and gels. " American Academy of Dermatology
Typically, your doctor will recommend a combination of treatments to address stretch marks, including:
While none of these treatments, alone or together, can completely alleviate stretch marks, they can make them substantially lighter. Your doctor can help you determine which treatment plan is best to address your stretch marks based on certain factors such as the severity of the condition and how long you have had them.
Is there anything else that can be done?
You shouldn't feel hopeless about stretch marks...