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& stretch marks
Stretch marks are scars caused by injury to the dermal layer of skin. When the skin is stretched too quickly, the dermis, or middle layer, may tear. This allows the hypodermis, or deepest layer of skin, to be visible through the epidermis. Stretch marks can be a major cause of embarrassment, but there are cosmetic treatments available to significantly reduce their appearance.
Stretch marks are found in areas of the body that tend to expand during periods of rapid growth. This could be caused by pregnancy, growth spurts, weight gain, or body-building. The stomach, thighs, hips, and upper arms are commonly affected by stretch marks.
Because the appearance of stretch marks is due to tears in the underlying skin, the skin first needs to heal. Heat stimulates production of elastin and collagen in the skin. New collagen rebuilds the dermal layer, reducing or eliminating the scar, and elastin restores the normal texture of the skin.