Scars & Stretch Marks

Conditions Body Scars & Stretch Marks

Scars and stretch marks often tell a story. Sometimes, they might be stories we’re proud of, but other times, we wish we didn’t have such an obvious reminder. Scars and stretch marks can be particularly distressing if they’re located somewhere conspicuous, such as the face, or are hard to cover up. Though scars and stretch marks are nothing to be ashamed of, we also believe they shouldn’t be allowed to damage your confidence.

What are Stretch Marks?

Stretch marks, also called striae, are thin lines that may appear when the skin rapidly stretches or shrinks. These streaks are a type of scar caused by stretching of the skin. With up to 90% of people having them, stretch marks are extremely common. 

Stretch marks are often caused by pregnancy or significant weight changes. Teenagers can also develop stretch marks from rapid growth spurts. You are more likely to develop stretch marks if you are female, have a family history of stretch marks, are overweight, take certain medications, or have insufficient skin elasticity.

Though stretch marks aren’t harmful, they can be itchy and sore and have an unwanted effect on your appearance. Some people don’t mind their stretch marks, while others find them a source of frustration or insecurity. Stretch marks are typically indented and vary in length and width. Depending on your skin color, they may start out as red, bluish, or brown, but they usually fade and become lighter than your surrounding skin. 

Stretch marks can occur anywhere that your skin rapidly stretches. They’re most common on the buttocks, thighs, stomach, breasts, and upper arms. Your stretch marks may change or fade with time, but they’re often permanent.

Scars & stretch marks guilford

Frequently Asked Questions

When your skin is damaged, it grows new tissue and closes the wound, which may form a scar. Minor injuries may heal without any visible signs over time, but more significant trauma to the skin often leaves a lasting scar. Common causes of scars include injuries, surgery, and acne or other skin conditions. 

The type of scar that develops from skin trauma depends on several factors. The type of injury, your skin’s condition, how the wound was cared for, and more can affect the resulting scar’s appearance. There are five main types of scars: flat, raised, depressed, keloid, and contracture.

  • Flat: Though the scar may start out slightly raised, it eventually becomes flat. It typically starts reddish and eventually becomes slightly lighter or darker than your surrounding skin. Flat scars are more likely with proper wound care.
  • Raised (hypertrophic): These scars are firm and rise slightly above the surface of your skin. They most often form on the chest, back, or shoulders. Raised scars typically shrink with time but never become fully flat.
  • Depressed (atrophic): Acne often leads to depressed scars, also called ice-pick scars. Acne scars are often slightly sunken and look like small pits or indentations in the skin.
  • Keloid: Keloids are raised scars that grow larger than the wounded area. They are often painful and itchy. You can be genetically predisposed to form keloids, and certain skin types are more likely to develop keloid scars.

Contracture: When the new tissue that forms to close a wound is too tight, it forms a contracture scar. These are most common with burn wounds. Large or severe contracture scars can restrict movement.

Scars and stretch marks are often permanent, which can be frustrating if they negatively affect your appearance. Fortunately, a board-certified dermatologist like Dr. Langdon can help you fade bothersome scars and stretch marks with the right treatments. Some people try treating their scars with at-home creams and ointments. These may help slightly but are unlikely to make a significant difference.

Dr. Langdon can evaluate your scars or stretch marks and help you determine the best treatment to reduce them. The Langdon Center offers the following innovative treatments for scars and stretch marks.

Laser Treatments

Certain laser treatments can improve scarring, including Fraxel and CO2 laser resurfacing. These treatments cause controlled damage to initiate a healing response, allowing healthy new cells to replace old, damaged skin. The laser energy also stimulates collagen production.


Microneedling is a gentler alternative to laser treatments that uses tiny needles to cause micro-damage to the skin, promoting healing and collagen production. We offer RF microneedling and AquaGold® fine touch™ microinjection treatments for enhanced results. Microneedling may benefit acne scars, stretch marks, and other minor scarring.

Dermal Fillers

For depressed scars, Dr. Langdon may recommend dermal fillers. Small injections of Juvederm® or Restylane® can fill in the indentation of depressed scars, restoring a smooth appearance and more even skin texture.

Take the next step.

To learn more about scars and stretch marks or to schedule your consultation with Board-Certified Cosmetic Surgeon Dr. Langdon, please fill out the form on this page or call The Langdon Center at (203) 453-8625. We look forward to working with you! The Langdon Center serves patients in the Guilford & New Haven, CT areas.

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