Known by the Latin for a stripe, striae, these are most commonly associated with pregnancy when they are known as striae gravidarum, but there are numerous other conditions when they will occur.
The cause is a distension of the skin that has resulted in lines of rupture of the underlying collagenous structure of the dermis. The lines are always longitudinal over the surface of the sphere, be it belly or biceps, and the skin is thinned at the jagged stria. They are colored blue or red, the color fading gradually over the years to a white scar.
Conditions in which they are found other than pregnancy are associated one way or another with distension of the underlying tissues and are often associated with cortisone. In males, they are found in weight lifters who do get huge muscles but who all too frequently are taking steroids; they occur in the obese, and in persons with congenital abnormalities of collagen formation such as Ehlers Danlos syndrome.
There are many proprietary treatments offered. It is hard to believe torn dermis tissues can be repaired by the local application of creams, no matter what herb they are made from, nor any food or other substance that is ingested. The FDA has approved the use of treatment of striae by laser, so one presumes some supporting evidence of efficacy was submitted.
This is a 21 year old woman with a BMI of 25.5 who had borne one child and became very displeased with the contour of her abdomen as a result. She had already been told that she had an umbilical hernia and wished to undergo repair of both issues at the same time.
This 25 year old woman with a preoperative BMI of 31.8 underwent abdominoplasty along with circumferential liposuction. This procedure treats the trunk or mid-section of the body as one unit all the way around. I believe that this method results in a more harmonious result than treating just the front with an abdominoplasty or just the back with liposuction.
This 33 year old woman embarked upon a diet and exercise program that resulted in a 100 pounds weight loss over a 10 month period. Significant changes in her body's appearance occured, but because there is a limit to how much an individual's skin can shrink down to a smaller contour, some issues remained.
These types of issues are ideally adressed by performing an abdominoplasty along with tailored liposuction.
This case depicts a 44 year old woman who had borne four children and was most concerned with excess skin, which was severely affected with stretch marks, on her abdomen. Such individuals are optimal candidates for an abdominoplasty or "tummy tuck." While many of the stretch marks can be removed during this surgery, even those that remain are less noticeable when the skin is taught. An abdominoplasty is also designed to tighten the abdominal musculature, which may also be stretched or malpositioned as a result of pregnancy.