Stretch marks develop when the top layer of skin is not in sync with the layers underneath for whatever reason, causing collagen and elastin fibres to break open, leaving stretch marks. Stretch marks can appear like pink, purple or red skid-marks or branches, as the skin has thinned and been damaged. Treatment strategies vary depending on the severity, but include topical treatments, lasers, and injections.
Stretch marks turn white over time. There isn’t much you can do about stretch marks at home, since the damage is done; you cannot unstretch the skin, and in this sense stretch marks are like scars: often they are with you, in some capacity, for life.
Breast skin is very thin compared to skin on other parts of the body, which makes it a prime spot for stretch marks to develop. Stretching may occur at puberty, when breast development occurs quite quickly (even in small breasts) and be compounded during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Breast implants can also cause stretch marks to develop, as the skin adjusts to the new residents.
Treating breast stretch marks
Laser therapies can drastically improve the appearance of stretch marks, with multiple treatments required for best results. Stretch marks are unlikely to be completely removed with any therapy, so it’s important to keep that in mind. Some pharmaceutical treatments may also be applied topically.
Laser therapy has been demonstrated in scientific studies to significantly reduce the appearance of stretch marks. Lasers work by using an energy beam to break up collagen fibres, stimulating the reorganisation of the tissue and new collagen production. Laser treatments increase blood flow to the area, boosting cellular performance. Early stretch marks can be reduced, and older scars can have collagen and elastin production bumped up. Ablative laser resurfacing may reduce the lumpiness of any bumpy stretch marks.
Stretch marks take a lot of sessions, and are slow to get results, so expectation management is key when treating stretch marks. It’s a slow process.
Reasons stretch marks may appear in some people over others
- 50-90 per cent of pregnant women experience stretch marks
- Becoming pregnant at a younger age
- Fast-growing breasts during puberty
- Growing large breasts at puberty
- Family history
- Gaining weight during pregnancy, unrelated to the pregnancy
- Large baby during pregnancy
- Long-term dehydration
- Losing or gaining weight quickly
- Weakened skin
- Low immunity
- Drinking alcohol
- Cushing’s syndrome
- Women of African heritage
- Chronic steroid use (breaks down collagen)
- Lighter, olive-toned skin tone
We can help lighten your stretch marks.