Skin Conditions

Stretch Marks

Stretch marks are scar-resembling streaks that appear in overstretched skin. They tend to develop during the growth spurt in adolescence, in pregnancy when abdomen is expanding or due to rapid weight gain.

Early stretch marks are usually red or purple in colour. Over time, this colour is lost and they become white in appearance. Most commonly stretch marks appear on the abdomen post pregnancy, at the back of legs or on the chest.

Structure of the skin

The visible layer of skin (epidermis) is made from several sheets of cells and functions as a barrier for the underlying tissue. Epidermal cells born in the bottom sheet push up through the layers to replace old, dead skin cells that are constantly being shed. The epidermis also contains melanin – the pigment responsible for skin colour.

Beneath the epidermis is the dermis. This deeper layer contains sweat glands, sebaceous glands, hair follicles, blood vessels and nerves. The dermis is made from two types of fibre, being collagen, which gives the skin its strength, and elastin, which provides skin with its elasticity.


Symptoms of Stretch Marks

While the skin’s fibres allow for growth, the dermis is not prepared to withstand abrupt changes in body mass. Consequently, this over-stretching forces the dermis’ fibres to break and the blood vessels contained in deeper skin tissue to show through, creating the condition’s distinguishing streaks and lines.

A stretch mark is formed when:

  • The skin is stretched as a consequence of underlying tissue expansion.
  • There is an inflammatory reaction in the skin that is responsible for the characteristic red or purple colour.
  • The inflammation eventually fades and is replaced by scar tissue. This produces a thinned epidermis, loss of dermal elastin, and a replacement of the dermis by abnormally dense collagen fibres.
  • The scarring is characteristically white or silvery in appearance and permanent.

Personalised procedures from Aesthetics Lab can help to minimise the appearance of stretch marks, making you feel better about your body.

Causes of Stretch Marks

  • Rapid fluctuations in weight
  • Hormonal misbalance
  • Growth spurts
  • Genetics

Prevention of Stretch Marks

  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Eat a balanced diet
  • Maintain a daily moisturising routine

Before & after

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Stretch Marks
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