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Stretch marks are often the result of the rapid stretching of the skin associated with rapid growth or rapid weight changes. Stretch marks may also be influenced by hormonal changes associated with puberty, pregnancy, bodybuilding, hormone replacement therapy, etc. Medical terminology for these kinds of markings includes striae atrophicae, vergetures, stria distensae, striae cutis distensae, lineae atrophicae, linea albicante, or simply striae. Stretch marks formed during pregnancy, usually during the last trimester, and usually on the belly, but also commonly occurring on the breasts, thighs, hips, lower back and buttocks, are known as striae gravidarum.
A new modality, fractional laser resurfacing, offers a novel approach to treating stretch marks, Using scattered pulses of light only a fraction of the scar is zapped by the laser over the course of several treatments. This creates microscopic wounds. The body responds to each treatment by producing new collagen and epithelium. In a 2007 clinical trial, 5-6 treatments resulted in the stretch marks improving by as much as 75 percent.” ”>