Stretch marks

Whether it’s from rapid weight gain, intense muscle building, or the rapid pace of aging, stretch marks can affect anyone. But what exactly are these skin changes? How can you detect them early and how can they be treated? Learn more here!

  • Stretch marks are initially pinkish-reddish stripy scars that later fade.

  • Colloquially, we also call them stretch marks, because they usually appear after heavy weight gain, as in pregnancy.

  • Laser or microneedling treatments can partially remove stretch marks.

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From Head of Cosmetics:

From Head of Cosmetics:

Medically reviewed by:

Medically reviewed by:

Stretch marks: Simply explained!

Stretch marks (striae) are strip-shaped skin changes. Medically, they are scars caused by overstretching of the skin after the collagen-containing fibers in the tissue tear. They look like slightly raised, pale pinkish-red or brownish lines – depending on the skin type. As we age, they may fade, but remain for a lifetime.

Did you know: they do not occur equally on all parts of the body, but where the subcutaneous fatty tissue is particularly dense. Such as the chest, thighs or buttocks. In addition to a genetic weakness of the connective tissue, the following factors favor the development of stretch marks:

  • Rapid volume increase (e.g.: during pregnancy)
  • Strong weight gain
  • Hormonal fluctuations
  • Strong muscle building (bodybuilding)

When stretch marks become a problem

As a rule, stretch marks are not a medical problem. They are often a cosmetic concern, which can make sufferers feel uncomfortable in their skin, as they usually occur on exposed areas of the body. But note: a metabolic disorder called Cushing’s syndrome can also cause stretch marks, along with other symptoms, so in very rare cases they can be indicative of such a condition.

What causes stretch marks

Stretch marks are caused by rapid and prolonged stretching of the skin, which can cause collagen fibers to tear. What remains is stretched scarred altered skin. This has nothing to do with skin ageing per se, but can be caused by rapid growth during puberty, pregnancy or sudden weight gain. They can affect both men and women equally and often occur in areas where the subcutaneous fatty tissue is particularly dense. This means that stretch marks occur much more frequently on the breasts, hips and thighs than in other areas.

What are the first signs

A slightly pink to reddish, streaky discoloration of the skin may be a first sign – but not to be confused with acne. In the early stages, the stripes are often rough and raised because the skin has been stretched. Later, the color can fade and adapt to the individual skin type. It is important to recognize them in time so that measures can be taken to minimize them if possible.

When to treat stretch marks

Usually stretch marks are not a medical problem and therefore do not need to be treated. However, it is absolutely understandable that some people may want treatment for visual reasons in order to rid their skin of scarring. Especially if you are restricted in your everyday life because you no longer dare to expose the affected areas, treatment can be useful. However, it is important to clarify the expectations. This is because several treatments are usually necessary to visibly reduce the stripes. And beware: unfortunately, complete removal of the strips is not possible with any medical procedure.

Any questions? Our FAQ section has the answers!

The most effective treatments to get rid of them are laser treatments, medical microneedling and one of the most powerful treatments is radiofrequency needling (e.g.: Morpheus8). All procedures smooth out the scarred stripes to visibly improve the skin’s appearance. At GoAesthetic, we combine deep medical microneedling with a local peel. Thus, on the one hand, we have the positive skin smoothing effect of the peeling and, on the other hand, collagen regeneration due to microneedling, which additionally tightens the skin. Important: Whether laser or our combination of microneedling plus peeling, all treatments must be repeated 4-6 times to achieve visible results.

Although you can’t completely remove stretch marks with any method, it is possible to reduce the visibility over time. However, this depends on several factors. Thickness, color and individual skin type, along with the type of treatment, represent the most important. Since stretch marks are scars, the treatment is identical to scarring skin lesions. A combination of microdermabrasion, collagen induction and intensive skin care can reduce stripes. Important: 100% removal of stretch marks is not possible according to the current state of medicine.

Stretch marks occur when the skin is rapidly stretched and, as a result, the collagen-containing elastin fibers in the tissue tear. This can be caused, for example, by rapid weight gain, growth spurts during puberty, intensive muscle building training or pregnancy. The result: small injuries to the skin occur, which can develop into stretch marks. Therefore, medically speaking, they are scars and not wrinkles or pigment changes.

The bad news first: Similar to acne scars, stretch marks can never be removed 100%. That is impossible. However, microneedling, chemical peels, and laser removal of stretch marks can help reduce visibility. The length of time it takes for streaky skin lesions to minimize can vary greatly and depends on several factors. Skin thickness, color of the stripes and your personal skin type are just some of them. On average, a visible reduction of stretch marks can be achieved after 4-6 treatments. Important: Early treatment achieves the best results.

More questions? Simply make a personal consultation appointment online.


Last updated: 16.01.2024