Women all over the world have had to deal with stretch marks for thousands of years. While anyone can get stretch marks due to excessive weight gain, the risk for stretch marks is much higher in pregnant women. As a pregnant woman’s body develops and grows quickly in a short span of just nine months, the skin of the abdomen, breasts, and hips is considered to be “high risk” because it is stretched as the baby (or babies) grow exponentially. Not all women get stretch marks. It is generally believed that women have a genetic predisposition that determines whether or not they get stretch marks, unless they gain an abnormal amount of weight during pregnancy. While stretch marks are not considered to be a medical complication, they can cause emotional stress to have a negative impact on a woman’s life.
Stretch marks are a form of scarring on the skin that produce an off-color hue in long, narrow streaks. When stretch marks appear on the skin they are usually a slightly purple or red shade, and as they begin to fade they become silvery lines. Most stretch marks will not disappear on their own, causing many women to feel discouraged. Not to say they are not “proud” of the accomplishment of their bodies to grow and give birth to a baby, or multiple babies at once or over time; but, permanent scarring of the body is often an emotional battle wound.
There are creams, oils, and topical preparations that are available that claim to reduce the development of stretch marks or to erase them after pregnancy. So far, there is no high-quality evidence that supports most of these claims. However, laser treatments are being studied for the use of treating stretch marks, so there is more hope on the horizon.
At Medical Dermatology Specialists in Atlanta, we understand that changes in skin can have a strong impact on how a woman feels about her body. Dr. Jamie Weisman is dedicated to staying abreast of new research for skin conditions and treatments. If you are pregnant and are worried about the development of stretch marks, or you already have stretch marks due to pregnancy or extreme weight loss, please contact our practice. We are committed to providing personalized care.
Medical Dermatology Specialists, Inc.
5730 Glenridge Dr, Suite T-100
Atlanta, GA 30328