Not everyone gets stretch marks. It depends entirely on the individual: how much collagen is present in your skin, whether your parents had them, the speed with which weight is gained or lost… Most women expect to develop them during pregnancy and some dread them.

But what are the symptoms of stretch marks? And what can be done?

• Skin flattens, reddens and can become itchy

• Red or purple streaks appear on your skin. They can be up to 1cm wide and several centimetres long. They may feel raised and the skin can feel puckered.

• With time, the skin becomes smoother and the stretch marks fade in colour to a silvery grey.

Stretch mark removal techniques vary in terms of efficacy. There are creams and oils on the market that claim to reduce the appearance of stretch marks, and some work very well for some people.
Another alternative approach is to use a combination of microdermabrasion and laser therapy. The microdermabrasion is a form of deep exfoliation that removes the superficial layers of skin by passing a pressurised jet of medical grade crystals over the surface of the skin.

The laser is applied after exfoliation and boosts the healing process and the production of collagen. New and unblemished skin is revealed, and after a course of treatment, the appearance of stretch marks can be vastly improved.