We ask for the help of a dermatologist, Dr. Thais Pepe, to explain to us why unwanted stretch marks form on the skin, especially of women, and how the dreaded white streaks can be avoided.
“Stretch marks are formed by the loss of collagen in the dermis, which is the site that supports the skin. There is a rupture of collagen and elastic fibers by stretching the site. After the rupture of these fibers there is a bleeding and thus, the red streaks appear, after the healing of the place they turn white. Stretch marks, in fact, are scars on the skin ”, explains Dr. Thais, who is a member of the Brazilian Society of Dermatology and the American Academy of Dermatology.
According to a study published in the Journal of The European Academy od Dermatology and Venereology, stretch marks mainly affect pregnant women and adolescents. The younger the woman becomes pregnant, the greater the chance of developing them because the skin is less elastic.
In brown or black skin, preventive care should be even greater. These people have a greater amount of melanin that helps protect against sunlight, but make stretch marks more apparent and more difficult to treat.
There are some ways to prevent stretch marks from forming. One is to avoid the constant variation in weight, the so-called “accordion effect”. Fattening and losing weight repeatedly can favor the appearance of stretch marks by stretching the skin.
Moisturize the skin and the use of creams with retinoid derivatives (natural or synthetic substances of vitamin A) it is also quite effective.
We can also not forget about food, exaggerating the consumption of simple fats and carbohydrates (sugars and sweets), drinking little water and abusing salt are habits that also hinder the exchange of fluids in the body, favoring the retention of toxic residues and causing stretch marks and also cellulite.
What if they are already there?
It is possible to completely recover the affected region and the sooner the treatment is started, the better the final result. A novelty is the micro-needle radiofrequency Eletroderme, which brings gold microneedles that penetrate deeply into the skin, promoting coagulation, heating and reorganization of collagen fibers (damaged by acne).
In this treatment, the needles go beyond the epidermis, emitting electromagnetic waves only in the deepest layers of the skin, preserving the surface. This causes the heating to reach 70ºC, stimulating the production of collagen and redoing the broken fibers. During the procedure, which lasts around 40 minutes, the patient may experience mild heating in the area. For the results to be satisfactory, an average of three sessions with monthly intervals is required.
This is just one example of the different types of treatment offered in medical and aesthetic clinics. Each body and type of organism can respond differently to each of them, so always talk to your doctor.
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By Antonio Montano