Stretch marks are scars that develop when our skin stretches or shrinks quickly. The abrupt changes cause rupture of the collagen and elastin present in the deeper layer of the skin, thus leading to scars.
In the early stages, the stretch marks are reddish in colour and slightly elevated. The fresh stretch marks are sometimes associated with itching. With time, they become whitish and depressed and wrinkled. This indicates that the stretch marks have now matured.
Unfortunately, there is no way to prevent stretch marks from developing. If somebody in your family has stretch marks, you also have high chances of developing them at some point in life.
With the help of various topical formulations and procedures, one can lighten their stretch marks and make them less noticeable. When the stretch marks are of recent onset and reddish in colour, creams containing tretinoin and / or hyaluronic acid have been shown to be of some help. But these creams should be applied and massaged in to the skin daily for few weeks before you start to notice any improvement.
More effective way of healing the stretch marks is through certain cosmetic procedures. These include :
Among the above mentioned treatment modalities, microneedling with PRP and resurfacing laser are the most commonly used. Both are based on the principle of collagen induction, that is, the fibroblast cells are stimulated to produce new collagen and elastin that replaces the damaged tissue, thus clinically improving the scars. PRP boosts these results as it is a concentrate of growth factors which further stimulate cellular division and metabolism. One would require 4-6 sessions of the treatment to see best results.