Scars and stretch marks are both types of marks affecting the surface of the skin. Stretch marks can often look like long, thin scars. But the two are very different in the way they’re formed.
Most people have at least one scar on their body, and no two scars are the same, partly because the way scars heal varies widely from one person to another.
More than half of all women have some sort of stretch mark problem in their lifetime and they all hate it!
What Are Stretch Marks?
Stretch marks or striae as they are called medically, are a form of scaring on the skin caused by the tearing of the middle layer of skin. Stretch marks are often the result of stretching of the skin through rapid body growth or sudden change of weight, which can be a result of pregnancy, hormone replacement therapy, body-building and puberty.
Where And When Do Stretch Marks Commonly Form?
Stretch marks commonly form where there is a growth of skin or a larger amount of fat is stored on the body. Some of the common areas of the body which have stretch marks are on the stomach, breasts, lower back, inner and outer thighs, abdomen, and buttocks. Stretch marks really can occur at any age. They can occur in adolescents or earlier due to medical conditions where there is an excess of cortisone being produced.
Treatment Of Stretch Marks
What Are Scars?
A scar is an area of fibrous tissue that replaces normal skin after an injury. Scars result from the biological process of wound repair in the skin, as well as in other organs and tissues of the body. Thus, scar formation is a natural part of the healing process that occurs when the skin repairs wounds caused by accident, surgery or disease.
Types of scars
- These are the most common type of scar and usually follow a trauma such as a burn or accident, or after surgery. Hypertrophic scars will follow the line of the injury, which means it will follow the line of the surgical would, where the burn has been or where the original cut was.
- found in about 15% of the population and are more Keloid scarring also tends to be more common in people with dark skin, including those from African, African-Caribbean and south Indian backgrounds. The cause of Keloids is not entirley known, but they usually (but not always) follow an injury. Keloids tend to occur from the age of 10 and 30 and occur mainly on the chest, ear or shoulders. The main way to tell if the scar is hypertrophic or a Keloid is that Keloids extend away from the area of the injury and can be quite large. More than 80% of Keloid patients complain of itching, and 50% complain of pain associated with the Keloid. Treatment is normally complex and best done under the supervision of a specialist. Simple therapies such as silicone gels will help, but there maybe the need for additional treatments.
Like hypertrophic scars, keloid scars in certain areas of the body can restrict your movement, since the scar tissue is less flexible than the rest of your skin.
- Scars that start out red and raised but flatten and turn pale in time are the most common type. The type of injury will determine how thin and neat the scar will be and how long it may take to heal (wider wounds where there’s more surface tissue damage tend to heal less neatly and less quickly).
What Is The Difference Between A Scar And Stretch Mark?
Stretch marks occur in the dermis, the middle layer of the skin. Scars occur when there is damage to the skin, usually a result of an acute injury, where certain cells grow too quickly.
A scar can be raised, depressed, red or white depending how old they are.