Stretch marks on the breast are very troublesome to many women who are affected with this common skin condition. Stretch marks are also called striae and are a form of breast scarring, which are permanent and unaesthetic. Removing stretch marks will rejuvenate the breasts and provide a more youthful appearance, which many women find to be a desirable physical trait.
This essay examines why stretch marks occur on the breast, as well as how they can be removed safely.
Stretch Marks on the Breast Explained
Striae are thin lines or grooves, which are lighter than the normal skin tone, making them show up by contrast against the surrounding tissue.
Stretch marks are caused by small tears in the skin layer called the dermis.
There are a wide variety of medical names associated with the development of stretch marks and these are often used to describe a specific severity of the condition. These names include: striae distensae, vergetures, linea albicante, lineae atrophicae, striae gravidarum, striae atrophicae and striae cutis distensae.
Stretch marks usually start out darker than the surrounding skin and may appear as red or purplish marks. With time, the lines will fade causing the familiar lighter hue which signifies permanent scarring of the dermal layer.
Stretch marks are tiny rips in the collagen and elastin fibers which give skin its shape and control the abilities of expanding and contracting. When stretched too far, these microscopic bonds break, causing the stretch mark to form.
Causes of Stretch Marks
Striae are caused by rapid growth in the affected tissue. Skin normally expands to meet the size of the body, but periods of sudden growth or weight gain will push the dermal layer to grow faster than cells can effectively replicate, causing these often unsightly marks.
The most common causes of sudden growth include:
Pregnancy is one of the most common sources of striae. Most women experience stretch marks to one degree or another, starting in their third trimester.
Adolescent development may cause sudden growth spurts, which can create stretch marks early in life.
Rapid weight gain, or excessive weight gain, will definitely cause permanent and sometimes severe stretch marks and other skin problems.
Use of human growth hormone (HGH), and certain steroid, can cause stretch marks on the body.
Sudden weight loss can also cause stretch marks and deep furrows to form in the skin.
Body building can cause stretch marks in anatomical areas which experience a sudden significant increase in size. Frequent flexing and contracting of this region may make these marks worse.
Preventing and Treating Stretch Marks on the Breast
Completely preventing breast stretch marks is not always possible, but it is usually possible to reduce striae formation.
Keeping your skin moisturized is very important. Applying a cream containing panthenol, vitamin E, collagen-elastin hydrolysates, Luei Gong Gen (Centella asiatica) and hyaluronic acid might help reduce stretch marks in some patients.
An easy way to prevent many forms of stretch marks is to avoid sudden shifts in weight whenever possible. Maintaining a healthy weight is also an important part of creating good general health.
Women with darker skin tones, or heavily pigmented skin of any color, are far more prone to the development of noticeable striae formation.
Treatment for existing stretch marks comes in many forms and levels of efficacy.
Non-surgical treatment includes creams, oils and prescription retinoids, which may or may not have any significant effect.
Minimally invasive surgical and medical procedures include various laser surgery treatments, micro-dermabrasion, skin tightening surgery and scar pigmentation techniques.
Learn more about stretch mark removal options.
Mindbody Consequences of Stretch Marks
Avoiding these marks is not always possible, but can be accomplished in many instances.
While normal adolescent development and pregnancy weight gain might come in rapid bursts, it is still often possible to reduce the likelihood of stretch marks by closely monitoring growth and using preventative skin care regimens.
Whenever possible, do not allow your body to suffer from rapid or significant weight gain. If you do have to lose weight, do it gradually and with the help of proper diet and exercise, to give your skin a chance to acclimate to the smaller you.
Always take good care of your skin to prevent damage from the sun and other factors which might aid in the formation of any unaesthetic marks.
For more information about preventing or treating breast stretch marks, talk to a qualified dermatologist or cosmetic surgeon near you.