Stretch marks

Stretch marks are long, narrow streaks or stripes that develop on the skin when it is rapidly stretched beyond its elasticity.

What Are Stretch Marks?

Stretch marks, also known as striae, are a common type of skin change that many people experience. They occur when the skin undergoes rapid stretching due to growth spurts, weight gain, pregnancy, or muscle building. This rapid expansion causes the underlying layer of skin (the dermis) to tear, resulting in visible lines on the surface of the skin.

The Science Behind Stretch Marks

The science behind stretch marks is tied to our body's collagen and elastin production. Collagen and elastin are proteins responsible for our skin's elasticity and structure. When our bodies grow or expand rapidly, they often can't produce these proteins fast enough to keep up with the changes. This leads to tears in our dermis layer - these tears manifest as stretch marks.

Different Types of Stretch Marks

Stretch marks can vary in appearance depending on their stage and your skin color. Early-stage stretch marks may appear red or purple while older stretch marks tend to be a silvery white color.

There are also different types based on where they occur on the body:

  • Striae Gravidarum: These are stretch marks that occur during pregnancy.
  • Striae Distensae: General term for stretch marks caused by rapid growth or weight gain.

Treatment Options for Stretch Marks

While stretch marks aren't harmful and usually fade over time, some people might wish to minimize their appearance for aesthetic reasons. Various treatments ranging from creams and oils to laser therapy and microneedling can be used. The effectiveness of these treatments can vary, so it's always best to consult with a dermatologist or skincare specialist.

  • Topical Creams and Oils: Over-the-counter creams, lotions, and oils containing ingredients like retinoid or hyaluronic acid can help improve the appearance of stretch marks by promoting collagen production.
  • Laser Therapy: This treatment stimulates collagen or elastin production in the skin to reduce the visibility of stretch marks.
  • Micro needling: A procedure where tiny needles are used to puncture the skin to trigger wound healing response, thus promoting new collagen formation.

Remember that while these treatments might improve the appearance of stretch marks, they don't completely remove them. Always consult with a professional before starting any treatment regimen.


Stretch marks are a natural part of life that many people experience at some point. Whether you choose to embrace them or seek out treatment options is entirely up to you. Regardless, understanding what they are and why they occur can help you make informed decisions about your skin health.

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If you would like to learn more about our comprehensive aesthetic skin care options, call or text 480-933-2328 to schedule your initial consultation with Nancy Park, RN, BSN.


Or Call/Text 480-933-2328

Book your appointment with Nancy Park, RN, BSN
Nancy Park, RN, BSN
Certified Aesthetic Nurse