Stretch Marks: Prevention, Treatments And Causes

Stretch marks are scars that form when there is destruction of the elastic and collagen fibers in the skin , usually caused by stretching. They are formed by the thinning of the dermis and epidermis, they can also itch and burn, but they usually have no symptoms.

Types of stretch marks

There are two types of stretch marks: bloated and fresh purple . When they are recent they are pink or purple, while the first ones are whitish.

Those of detente pink or purple are recent , may have mild itching and be accompanied by a local inflammatory process; the white ones are older, since there was a more intense atrophy of the collagen fibers, and there is inflammation. In people with dark or black skin, stretch marks may appear darker than the skin tone.

Causes of stretch marks

Stretch marks are generally formed when there is a stretching of the skin, which is commonly caused by an increase in body volume. This increase can occur due to pregnancy , weight gain, breast implant placement, and the use of anabolic or hormonal factors, such as estrogen and hormones from the adrenal cortex.

Long-term use of corticosteroid treatments also causes stretch marks on the body, as well as genetic factors that may also be involved.

Risk factor’s

In women it is more common to find stretch marks on the flanks, thighs, buttocks, abdomen and breasts. It happens a lot when a woman enters puberty, grows very fast , or gains weight in a short period of time.

In adulthood, during pregnancy , stretch marks can appear on the abdomen and breasts. The appearance after the placement of breast implants is also common, due to the abrupt distension of the tissues.

In men it is more common on the shoulders, arms and back. Those who are subjected to excessive weight or abuse of anabolic steroids are the most prone. In men, weight gain and abrupt growth are also causes of stretch marks .

Some factors that contribute to the appearance of stretch marks

  • Weight changes : losing or gaining weight quickly and excessively can cause stretching of the skin.
  • Hormonal problems : increased estrogen and progesterone production can weaken collagen and elastin fibers, making them easier to break down.
  • Genetics : the elasticity and resistance of the skin depend on hereditary characteristics.
  • Pregnancy : If there is no weight control, stretch marks may appear.

Seeking medical help

The abrupt appearance of large stretch marks can be a symptom of endocrinological diseases , and in these cases you should consult a doctor, but, in general, stretch marks cause only cosmetic discomfort, and this is also a reason to seek treatment.

Nine ways to prevent stretch marks without treatment

Exercises , massages and diet protect the skin from this type of injury . If you are interested in the subject, it is usually because you can already see some red or whitish marks on your skin. Stretch marks are no warning and, to make matters worse, they are difficult to treat. There are treatments that can improve the appearance of these lesions, but not the stretch marks themselves. The ideal is to invest in healthy habits , strengthening the skin and preventing the appearance of new scars.

It may seem strange, but stretch marks are injuries – the skin breaks when there is a very intense stretch. The problem is very common in adolescence if growth occurs quickly, not slowly, or in pregnancy, due to weight gain. If you want to avoid the problem, instead of worrying too late, consult the advice of the experts.

Physical exercises

Practicing physical exercises and maintaining weight prevents stretching of the skin, which is usually one of the main causes of stretch marks. Physical activity keeps the skin firm , preventing stretch marks, you just have to be careful with very intense exercises, which can lead to a rapid increase in muscle mass and hypertrophy, which also cause stretching of the skin.

See what type of exercises is best suited to you.

Hydrating creams

Hydrated skin has more resistance . Moisturizers based on grapeseed oil , macadamia nuts, almonds, and rose hips are the best options. Two applications a day, in the morning and before going to bed, are enough.

The area behind the knees, hips, belly and sides are the most prone to stretch marks and deserve special attention. During pregnancy, applying moisturizers can be done up to three times a day, but talk to your gynecologist to avoid risks before choosing the product you want to use.

Localized massage

You can massage the areas most prone to stretch marks while applying the moisturizer, doing a kind of lymphatic drainage to improve circulation in the area. Applying the cream with a massage is important , since this way you stimulate the absorption of the active principles of the product.

Ideally, you should apply the creams and do the massages after bathing , when the pores are open.


Drinking water helps keep the body hydrated, including the skin, which is the first organ to become dehydrated because it is constantly exposed to attacks, such as the sun.

According to experts, it is essential to drink at least 1.5 liters of water a day to always keep the skin hydrated, thus avoiding tissue disruption and, consequently, stretch marks. But really the important thing is to drink the water whenever we have EDS , we should not force ourselves to drink more.

If you want to know more, do not miss our articles on how to improve health with water .

Vitamin C

This nutrient actively participates in the production of collagen , one of the main support substances of the skin, helping to prevent stretch marks. Regular consumption of vitamin C also has a calming effect on the skin, acts as an anti-inflammatory and protects it from solar radiation .

The major sources of vitamin C are foods of orange , cherry, pineapple, kiwi and guava, if you want more information we have an article with the ranking of foods with more vitamin C, do not miss it !!!


Zinc is present in fish and shellfish and plays an important role in healing the skin, always keeping it healthy and preventing stretching, in addition, the mineral has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that act in favor of the prevention of skin infections and irritations. The Brazil nut and wheat germ are also sources of zinc.

This mineral, more unknown than others, you can discover it in our article: Zinc: an essential mineral for your health!

Vitamin B5

This nutrient promotes cell renewal, leaving the skin firm and healthy . Meat, eggs and milk are the main sources of this B group vitamin and should be part of the diet of those trying to prevent stretch marks. Broccoli , sweet potato, avocado, and lentils are options for vegetarian diets.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E ensures the formation of collagen and elastin to maintain the structure of the skin, this nutrient preserves the elasticity of the skin and prevents damage to the structure of collagen and elastin, avoiding the dreaded stretch marks. The hazelnuts , almonds, wheat germ and vegetable oils are good sources of vitamin E .


Oats, corn, rice, seaweed, and shellfish are sources of this nutrient. Silicon regenerates collagen and elastin fibers, preventing the loss of elasticity of the skin. In addition, it protects existing collagen against free radicals, which also prevents the appearance of stretch marks.

Treatment of stretch marks

The effectiveness of the treatment will depend on the stage in which the stretch marks are, where they are and their thickness. It is important to remember that there is no complete cure, but there is a significant improvement in your appearance. Genes, age, and individual collagen production are also factors that influence the success of treatment.

Also, the earlier you start treatment, the more likely it is that the results will be positive. There are several types of treatment with topical creams, acid application , laser and peeling . The dermatologist is the most appropriate professional to diagnose and prescribe treatments, and will evaluate which ones will bring you the best results. Check out some of the most recommended procedures:

retinoic acid

It can be used even at home through creams. Retinoic acid is used to stimulate the production of collagen in the region that has the stretch mark, it is important to always keep the skin hydrated.

If you have stretch marks, don’t miss this special article on Retinoic Acid: Pros and Cons for Stretch Marks and Aging Skin


It promotes the stimulus for the reorganization of the stretch marks and facilitates the penetration of other substances such as retinoic acid. It should be done carefully to avoid bleeding at the site. For more information on this treatment see our article on microdermabrasion.


The penetration of infrared light produces an increase in the temperature in the dermis, reaching 65 ° C, which causes the degradation of the old collagen, the contraction of the dermis and stimulating the production of new collagen in the remodeling dermis, and therefore thus changing the look of stretch marks.

Ablative and fractional laser

It is an excellent treatment option because it has controlled thermal damage and requires few sessions, this method is effective on larger stretch marks. The only downside is the discomfort of the treatment.

Non-ablative laser

It does not harm the epidermis, therefore it can be done on any type of skin and time of year . However, it requires a greater number of sessions.


Surgical procedure in which a pulse of rays is made through a suitable needle that produces a hematoma fibrosis in the place . This may require suturing treatment and then filling the atrophic areas of the stretch marks with hyaluronic acid .

Best products to prevent stretch marks (anti-stretch marks)

Nowadays there are a multitude of products that will help you prevent stretch marks, remember that it is better to continue a healthy lifestyle and apply creams than to try to solve the problem afterwards. We leave you a list with the most effective anti-stretch mark creams :

  • Trofolastin anti stretch marks 250 ml
  • Suavinex – 3159888 – Suavinex Stretch Mark Cream 400 ml
  • Dexeus Anti-Stretch Mark Cream – 200 ml
  • Babaria – Anti-stretch marks firming body – 400 ml
  • Re – Gen oil anti-stretch marks treatment 75ml
  • Effective anti-stretch mark treatment with rosehip, tones and firms the skin, reduction of stretch marks, ultra moisturizing, pure oil, effective treatment, repairs scars and stretch marks, 140ml,
  • Isdin – Velastisa Anti-Stretch Mark Cream 250 ml
  • Nivea – Q10 Plus dry anti-stretch mark oil – for all skin types – 200 ml
  • White Lotus Anti Aging: Biocompatible Polymer Dermaroller Avoids Metal Allergies – Derma Roller Facial Roller with Microneedles for Holistic Micropuncture – Anti-wrinkle Anti-acne Anti-stretch marks 0.5mm

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Kathie Sand always saw the world of beauty as the terrain on which to build her professional career, a goal that was clear to her when she was only 15 years old. Her great concern to expand knowledge led her to settle in Paris where she studied hand in hand with the best beauty professionals and with the most advanced techniques for skin care.

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