Condition:

Stretch marks

What is it?

Small whitish, pinkish or purplish streaks visible on the skin, stretch marks are most often found on the thighs, hips, stomach, buttocks or chest.

Did you know?

Thin skin has a higher tendency to show stretch marks than thicker skins do since they generally contain fewer fibres – including collagen and elastin fibres!

What are the causes?

Stretch marks result from the rupture of elastic fibres in the dermis, when the skin has exceeded its capacity to stretch. The appearance of stretch marks occurs for several reasons:

Puberty

At puberty, the body secretes more cortisol, a hormone produced by the adrenal glands. The release of large quantities of cortisol blocks the action of fibroblasts ¬– the cells that support connective tissue – and thus reduces collagen production. The skin’s flexibility and stretching ability is reduced, while the body quickly sculpts itself into new shapes. Stretch marks can appear on certain areas, such as the thighs and buttocks.

High cortisol levels

Aside from during puberty, cortisol may be present in high levels for various reasons. The adrenal glands produce more or too much cortisol during chronic stress as in the second trimester of pregnancy or in the case of certain diseases such as Cushing’s syndrome. The higher the cortisol level, the lower the collagen production. The skin then loses its suppleness and elasticity and stretch marks may appear.

Pregnancy

Between 50 and 70% of women notice the appearance of stretch marks during their first pregnancy, mainly on the stomach and chest. In addition to varying cortisol production, pregnancy stretches the skin quickly and intensely. Put to the test, elastic fibres at some point reach their maximum stretch capacity, which can then create stretch marks.

Weight fluctuations

Rapid weight gain, significant weight loss or increased muscle mass can cause stretch marks to appear. Because the fibres have been quickly stretched and/or strained, the alteration of the skin structure reveals stretch marks.

How to prevent?

Adequate stress management

Cortisol, defined as the stress hormone, is released by the adrenal glands in greater quantities in certain situations. In order to concentrate all of the body’s energy to react to danger, cortisol production is essential. Nevertheless, its production in large quantities and over a long period of time can be damaging to health, including that of the skin. As the release of cortisol affects collagen production, it is essential

A healthy weight

Limiting rapid variations in weight – both increases and decreases – prevents alterations to the skin structure and therefore limits the creation of stretch marks.

Good skin hydration

Whether it is the application of an “anti-stretch mark” cream or a moisturizing cream adapted to another skin condition, it’s a must to moisturize the skin properly. The product used may contain vitamin A or E, collagen, Shea butter or sweet almond oil. When hydrated, the skin retains its structural integrity and its collagen and elastin production is protected.

How to treat?

Lasers fractionnés

Fractional lasers


Fraxel® fractional resurfacing lasers improve textural problems such as stretch marks. This very safe procedure aims to induce micro-perforations into the dermis in order to encourage the skin to repair itself by producing new collagen and building a new skin structure. The new skin formed combines with the existing skin and visibly reduces the appearance of both recent and older stretch marks.

Complementary products

FUNCTIONALAB
Collagen Formula

This nutricosmetic has been designed to support the natural production of collagen, which contributes to the skin’s resistance and elasticity. It contains a unique combination of hydrolyzed collagen, vitamin C and two amino acids, L-lysine and L-proline. Collagen Formula stimulates collagen production from within, brightens the complexion and provides antioxidant protection.

FUNCTIONALAB
Pre-Post Treatment 2 – Cream

This lipid-rich cream restores dehydrated, fragile skin. An optimized ratio of essential lipids balances the lipid barrier to soothe the skin and protect it against dryness.

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