Book a consultation
Book a consultation

Body by Mr Ioannis Goutos

Stretch marks

Stretch marks

Stretch marks, medically referred to as ‘striae’, are long, indented marks that can appear on the skin following rapid stretching of the skin. They may appear during periods or rapid growth, weight changes or pregnancy. Stretch marks typically appear as purple, red lines or streaks across the skin and can be initially slightly raised; once established, they are usually depressed from the level of the surrounding skin and may lose their florid colour and look pale. They most commonly occur on the hips, buttocks and abdomen, although can occur anywhere on the body.

Although they are not harmful, stretch marks can become problematic as some individuals may feel particularly self-conscious about them and this can have an effect on their self-esteem and confidence. Occasionally stretch marks can be associated with some itching symptoms in the early stages but are typically not painful. If you are troubled by your stretch marks and wish to seek treatment to reduce their appearance, there are a number of good treatment options available to make stretch marks appear less prominent.

Mr Ioannis Goutos is a top London-based plastic surgeon with extensive experience in managing a number of conditions, in particular burns, scars and body contouring. His wealth of knowledge and expertise means that he is well placed to provide thorough assessments and advice for individuals with cosmetic goals. He is a skilled surgeon and is able to provide a number of surgical and non-surgical treatment options, including gold standard aftercare and follow up.

Book your consultation today

Book now

About this condition

The skin contains special connective tissue fibres, such as collagen and elastin, which help to give it strength and flexibility. However, when the skin is submitted to prolonged stretching, this causes increased tension across the skin and alters the structure of tissues. This change causes areas of thinning within the skin structure resulting in stretch marks. Although there is no actual break to the skin, stretch marks can be thought of as a type of atrophic (i.e. depressed) scarring.

Stretch marks typically appear following periods of rapid expansion of the skin such as:

  • Extreme weight gain or rapid weight loss
  • Pregnancy
  • Significant growth spurts, most commonly during puberty
  • Rapid growth in muscle mass, such as in body building or extreme weight training

Stretch marks are also seen in those with conditions such as Cushing’s disease, where there are excess steroid hormones produced in the body. They are also a known side effect of taking long term steroid-based medications. Individuals with connective tissue disorders, such as Ehlers-Danlos syndrome or Marfans syndrome, are also more likely to develop stretch marks.

For those who are bothered by stretch marks, there are a number of treatment options which aim to reduce the appearance of the marks and make the skin appear smoother. These may include needling and laser or light based treatments to stimulate an increase collagen production in the skin. This aims to make the marks appear more level and rejuvenated. If the stretch marks are associated with areas of loose or saggy skin (such as under the arm, inner thigh, lower abdomen or buttocks), then a surgical body contouring procedure may be appropriate to improve the appearance of the overlying skin.

It is crucial to discuss your treatment goals with an experienced clinician to ensure that you have a treatment plan that is the best for you and your skin.

Read more
Goutos London - Stretch Marks


Mr Goutos is delighted to share some of his patient and peer feedback on their experiences of his services.

Read more reviews

Accreditation & Memberships