What are Stretch Marks?
Stretch marks are fine lines on the body which develop when tissue under the skin tears. This can occur when someone grows rapidly, gains weight rapidly, or when the skin is stretched, such as during pregnancy. Stretch marks are a common condition that does not cause any significant medical problems but can be of cosmetic concern for some people. Other names for stretch marks are striae rubrae (which are red) and striae albae (white) striae atrophicans (thinned skin), striae gravidarum (following pregnancy), striae distensae (stretched skin), striae nigrae (black) and striae caerulea (dark blue).
Who gets stretch marks?
Stretch marks are very common. They can develop on parts of the body that are affected by rapid weight gain and stretching of the skin. Specifically, they are common on the following body locations:
- Abdomen and breast in pregnant women
- Adolescents undergoing growth spurts (buttocks, thighs, breasts)
- Shoulders in body-builders
- Obese or overweight people
Treatment of stretch marks is considered a cosmetic treatment and is, therefore, not covered by insurance. To improve the color of red stretch marks, IPL may be an option. Fractional laser and microneedling may also be options to improve the texture of stretch marks, which helps to improve the appearance.
To have your stretch marks evaluated, please schedule a cosmetic consultation with us by calling 703-356-5111.