Understanding Stretch Marks: Causes, Types,& Treatments!

Stretch Marks

Stretch marks are the laugh lines of the body, telling tales of triumphs such as the miracle of childbirth, the determination to shed a few extra pounds, and even the entrance into adulthood.

While these marks are as natural and harmless as laugh lines, and carry a symbolism as profound, they can nonetheless wield a significant impact on our confidence, leaving us feeling disconcerted and even uncomfortable within our own skin.

Let’s discuss what stretch marks are, along with their formation, their stubborn persistence, and the burning questions having from all our lips can they be prevented, and more importantly, can they be treated? 

First Things First, What Are Stretch Marks?

Stretch marks (also known as striae) are a common skin concern that affects people of all ages, genders, and body types. 

These badges of honour often appear on the abdomen, thighs, hips, and breasts, and can result from various factors such as pregnancy (especially during the last trimester), rapid weight gain or loss, puberty, and even genetics. 

What Causes Stretch Marks?

It is important to note, it is in fact, a type of scar that develops when our skin undergoes rapid stretching or shrinking. In essence, the skin ruptures and as it heals, these “scars” may appear.

However there are multiple factors that can cause the skin to undergo these rapid changes.

The most common cause? Hormones! Specifically cortisol and oestrogen. Cortisol weakens the elastic fibres in the skin, whereas oestrogen causes an increased retention of liquids and mineral salts in the tissue can cause greater tension in the skin. Oestrogen also weakens elastic and collagen fibres.

Other causes include Cushing syndrome, Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, Marfan syndrome and other adrenal gland disorders, genetics, and the level of stress placed on the skin (i.e. rapid weight gain or loss).

Are Stretch Marks More Prevalent In Women Than In Men?

Woman with Stretch Marks on Her Legs

Sadly, yes. 

It is what it is. The appearance of stretch marks is 2.5 times more frequent in women than in men. Again, hormones, hormones, hormones: with about 58% of adolescent girls developing stretch marks during puberty, and about 75 – 95% of women developing stretch marks during pregnancy.

Are There Different Types Of Stretch Marks?

Stretch marks come in more colours than the rainbow, these include striae rubrae (red), striae albae (white), striae nigra (black), and striae caerulea (dark blue). These common complaints are difficult to treat. Darker coloured marks, such as purple ones, are typically newly developed, whereas white/silver are typically older and have faded out over time. 

Stretch mare are also divided into three categories, known as striae atrophicans (thinned skin), striae gravidarum (following pregnancy), striae distensae (stretched skin). 

Can Stretch Marks Be Removed?

Although they tend to fade over time, fading does not mean disappearing. However, non-surgical treatments can drastically improve the appearance of unwanted marks, scars and lines … and that is exciting!

What Is A Great Non-Surgical Way To Tackle Stretch Marks?


This minimally invasive procedure uses a special device that gently exfoliates the uppermost layer of the skin to help wave bon voyage to dead skin cells. This, of course, reveals newer, undamaged skin, and allows new skin cells to grow. This procedure also helps thicken collagen, known to help keep your skin firm.

Price: £80

Duration: 45 Minutes

Recovery Time: 1 – 3 Days

Manual Dermal Roller:

A manual dermal roller is a handheld device that uses very fine needles to create micro-pricks and injuries in the outer layer of the skin. This helps trigger the body’s natural wound healing response, as well as stimulate the production of collagen and elastin.

Price: £80

Duration: 45 Minutes

Recovery Time: 1 – 3 Days


Carboxytherapy, often hailed as “miracle gas,” is an innovative treatment that uses carbon dioxide infusions injected beneath the skin’s surface to promote a radiant glow and rejuvenate the skin’s overall appearance.

Price: From £120

Duration: 30 – 45 Minutes

Recovery Time: 3 – 5 Days

Can I Prevent New Lines From Appearing?


Researchers have uncovered that while certain remedies, such as almond oil to olive oil, may not necessarily prevent the formation of new lines from appearing. However, other ingredients, like products containing centella or hyaluronic acid, actually may.

The Takeaway

Stretch marks narrate tales of resilience and transformation, from adolescence, to childbirth, and beyond. Whilst these marks carry deep symbolic meaning for some, they impact the confidence of others.

Speak to your dermatologist or aesthetician about your stretch marks and the best solution to help you embrace the skin you are in with grace and confidence


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