What are extensions?
Skin stretching is a visual defect in the skin in the form of narrow, wavy bands of different widths, caused by an excessively rapid change in body volume when slimming or gaining weight. The medical term for stretch marks is stria, from lat. striae ( "strips").
Women usually suffer from stretch marks during pregnancy, however, when muscular mass is collected, many athletes also face similar skin changes - they have the most frequent stretch marks on the hips, the inside of the arm, and also in the shoulder region.
Are stretch marks dangerous?
In fact, stretch marks characterize the loss of skin elasticity. If the skin is usually able to adapt, gradually stretching or contracting, in some cases this margin of safety ends, the skin is overtrained and a kind of micro-scars appear.
It is important to note that the appearance of stretch marks does not at all mean that the body's immune system has failed and tissues have ceased to regenerate. The only disadvantage of the appearance of striae on the skin is aesthetic. There are no health risks for stretching in the vast majority of cases.
Reasons for the appearance of stretch marks
The most frequent reasons for the appearance of stretch marks on the body are a rapid change in weight( weight loss or a set of muscles) and hormonal changes( pregnancy in women or the use of anabolic steroids in athletes).In many cases, both factors act simultaneously.
With a sharp set of fat mass stria occur on the hips, waist, buttocks, abdomen and other places of fat deposition. The skin in this case is stretched, the mesh layer of the dermis breaks down while the epidermis remains. There is a failure - the vessels, collagen and elastic fibers are torn.
Stretching and cortisol level
Despite the fact that scientific research shows that the tendency for the appearance of stretch marks on the skin is laid genetically( 1), an important role in their appearance is caused by the vibrations of the hormone cortisol. A high level of cortisol markedly weakens the elastic functions of the epidermis( 2).
It is for this reason that losing weight often encounter stretch marks on the abdomen - a sharp decrease in caloric intake and exhausting cardio workouts repeatedly increase the level of cortisol and other stress hormones. You must always remember that you need to lose weight correctly.
Can I get rid of stretch marks?
There are several effective methods of removing stretch marks on the skin. Although you can completely get rid of the striae exclusively surgically, reduce the intensity of the color and make them less noticeable with the help of various cosmetic procedures and special creams.
Note that most home methods of dealing with stretch marks do not show a clinical result. Different types of hand massage, massage rollers, contrast shower, rubbing coconut and other oils - these methods are not able to remove the stretch marks on the skin.
Methods of removing stretch marks
1. Cream from stretch marks .Retinoic creams and ointments containing tretinoin( a relative of vitamin A) can improve collagen metabolism in the skin, fighting newly formed stretch marks. It is important to note that pregnant and lactating women are forbidden to use these creams.
2. Laser grinding. The laser literally evaporates the surface layer of the skin along with stretch marks and pigment spots. In addition to updating the upper layers of the skin, the activity of the laser stimulates the activity of collagen fibers of its deep layers.
3. Chemical peeling .Literally the word peeling means "peeling".In application to the skin there is in the see the use of various chemical reagents to remove the surface layer of the epidermis. Regular carrying out of similar therapies rejuvenates the skin.
4. Mechanical peeling( dermabrasion). Abrasive skin polishing by aluminum microcrystals with penetration to a sufficiently deep level of blood vessels. Before the procedure, freezing of the treated area of the skin with a cold gas jet is applied.
Stretch marks on the body are typical satellites for quick dialing or weight loss. Effective ways to deal with them, in fact, two - physical removal of the upper layer of the skin using various methods, or the use of a special cream against stretch marks with tretinoin.
- NCBI: Common skin conditions during pregnancy, source
- Mayo Clinic: Stretch marks, source
- NCBI: Topical preparations for preventing stretch marks in pregnancy, source