Stretch marks or striae are a form of scarring. They are caused by tearing of the dermis. Stretch marks are often the result of the rapid stretching of the skin associated with rapid growth (common in puberty) or weight gain (e.g. pregnancy or muscle building).
Stretch marks occur in the dermis, the resilient middle layer that helps the skin retain its shape. Stretch marks can appear anywhere on the body, but are most likely to appear in places where larger amounts of fat are stored.
The glucocorticoid hormones responsible for the development of stretch marks affect the epidermis by preventing the fibroblasts from forming collagen and elastin fibers, necessary to keep rapidly growing skin taut. This creates a lack of supportive material, as the skin is stretched and leads to dermal and epidermal tearing.
Stretch marks can be treated using skin abrasion treatment technology. A superficial abrasion of the skin tissue triggers the body’s own natural repair mechanism which stimulates the production of new collagen and elastin fibres. Consequently skin abrasion technology can have a remarkable softening action on stretchmarks. Although unlikely to completely remove the stretch marks a course of skin abrasion treatments should certainly cause stretch marks to significantly fade.
Generally the newer the stretch mark the greater will be the response to skin abrasion treatments.
There are several skin abrasion technologies available that can assist in removing the stratum corneum (dead outermost surface of the skin).