By Rhys Branman, MD
Most people associate stretch marks with pregnancy. This is why more women get stretch marks than men. However, stretch marks are can be created any time the body gains in size including weight gain, and even muscle gain in the case of some bodybuilders and even in the teen years of rapid growth. Stretch marks, also called striae form in the dermis, or middle layer of skin. Stretch marks are often misunderstood.
We all know that pregnancy and weight gain stretch your skin, but there is more involved in the creation of stretch marks than this. You might wonder why some people get stretch marks and some don’t, or why stretch marks are more or less extreme on any given person. You might even notice that the formation of stretch marks is partially genetic: if your mother had them, you too will probably have them.
During times of certain body changes, hormones are produced. In particular, the adrenal glands produce cortisone, which weakens the elastic fibers in the skin according to research from the Mayo Clinic. When your body produces an excess of cortisone, the combination of the dermis stretching and the hormones weakening the elastin fibers creates tears in that deeper layer of skin. In a sense, the tears are in the inside, which is why topical creams and lotions that do not penetrate deeply cannot help diminish stretch marks.
Hormones such as cortisone are involved at pregnancy, times of weight gain, and with various genetic diseases. Stretch marks can also be caused by certain medications. If you seem to be getting stretch marks for no apparent reason, you will want to get tested for various diseases such as diabetes.
So what can be done about stretch marks? Not much non surgically; it’s a tough one. The best way to eradicate stretch marks is to actually remove them. The only way this can be done is by removing the affected skin. The procedures that can do this are:
lower body lifts
These are the procedures that remove excess skin. Obviously you would not want one of these procedures unless you are candidate with excess skin due to extreme weight loss or pregnancy. As for stretch marks as a result of pregnancy, often a breast lift can be performed in conjunction with a tummy tuck as part of a Mommy Makeover at Little Rock Cosmetic Surgery Center. So yes, in many cases, stretch marks can be removed, or at least hidden with these procedures. Come on in for your free consultation to see if you are a candidate.
Call Melinda at the front desk to set up a free consultation 501.227.0707