What Are Stretch Marks and What Causes Them?


Stretch marks, also known as striae, are a form of scarring on the skin with an off-color hue. They are caused by tearing of the dermis and can occur during rapid stretching of the skin. Stretch marks may also be influenced by hormonal changes associated with puberty, pregnancy, bodybuilding, hormone replacement therapy and a variety of other conditions. Stretch marks can not be completely eliminated but there are many treatment options available to help minimize their appearance.

What Causes Stretch Marks?

Stretch marks can appear anywhere on the body but are most common in places where larger amounts of fat are stored. For example, stretch marks commonly develop on the stomach, breasts, upper arms, underarms, back, thighs (both inner and outer), hips, buttocks and even the shoulders. Both men and women commonly get stretch marks during puberty due to rapid growth. Pregnancy is another major cause for stretch mark development in women due to abdominal expansion from the growing fetus. Stretch marks on the breast are also quite common in pregnant women as well as those who have recently undergone breast augmentation surgery or rapid weight gain or loss.

Stretch marks don’t discriminate against age or sex though anyone can get them at any point in his or her life. For example, teens may see stretch

Stretch marks or striae are a form of scarring on the skin with an off-color hue. Over time they may diminish, but will not disappear completely. Stretch marks are often the result of the rapid stretching of the skin associated with rapid growth (common in puberty) or weight gain (e.g. pregnancy, muscle building, obesity) and less frequently, from the use of corticosteroid medication. Certain genetic conditions can also cause striae.

The tendency of stretch marks to occur or worsen is largely influenced by hormonal changes and their influence on the tissue composition in different bodily areas. The causes are not entirely understood.

Stretch marks may appear as tears in the dermis (middle layer of skin), which over time reduce in height and width, often becoming shiny and lighter in color than surrounding skin before eventually fading altogether. Stretch marks are not physically dangerous but can be cosmetically unpleasant and some sufferers feel self-conscious about them.

What are stretch marks?

Stretch marks are narrow streaks or lines that develop on the surface of the skin. They happen when the skin is suddenly stretched and are extremely common. Anyone can get stretch marks, but they tend to affect more women than men.

They often start off pale red or purple, but tend to gradually fade to a silvery-white colour over time. Some people find them unsightly, while others don’t mind them at all. If you’re unhappy with your stretch marks and want to treat them, there are a number of things you can try (see below). For some people, stretch marks clear up without treatment after a few months or years.

What causes stretch marks?

Once thought to be caused by stretching of the skin, we now know that it is in fact damage to collagen and elastin fibres in the dermis that results in stretch marks (striae distensae). Stretch marks can occur because of pregnancy, growth spurts during adolescence or rapid weight gain.

Areas where stretch marks commonly develop include:

abdomen

breasts

upper arms

thighs

buttocks

Stretch marks are a form of scarring on the skin with an off-color hue. Over time they may diminish, but will not disappear completely.

Stretch marks are often the result of the rapid stretching of the skin associated with rapid growth (common in puberty) or weight gain (e.g. pregnancy). Stretch marks may also be influenced by hormonal changes associated with puberty, pregnancy, bodybuilding, or hormone replacement therapy. Though it is often said that stretch marks are hereditary, this has not yet been scientifically proven to be true.

When the body grows quickly for any reason, the dermis can tear. The dermis is the elastic middle layer of skin that allows it to retain its shape. When the dermis is stretched too far or too fast (as in bodybuilding), the connective fibers in this layer can break down and cause scarring. Normally these tears heal without much visible scarring but sometimes they don’t and this is when stretch marks appear.

Stretch marks affect both men and women alike, appearing during times of hormonal change, such as puberty and pregnancy. They also occur frequently in bodybuilders who use anabolic steroids to gain muscle mass quickly because their skin doesn’t grow at the same rate as their muscles do.

Stretch marks are stripes on the skin that appear when the skin is pulled by rapid growth or stretching. Stretch marks may occur during rapid growth of the body, such as during puberty or pregnancy. Stretch marks may also be caused by rapid weight gain, such as weight training or pregnancy.

Stretch marks go through several stages and differ in appearance over time. Initially they appear as reddish or purple lines, but tend to gradually fade to a lighter colour. It is generally accepted that once stretch marks have finished developing they do not fade any further. As such, there is no point in treating them while they are still red/purple as this will only delay the process.

Stretch marks are caused by tearing of the dermis (the middle layer of skin). The rapid stretching causes the collagen and elastin (which help maintain our skin structure) to rupture – this is what forms the scarring. While our skin does have an amazing ability to repair itself, it can only do so much. This means that once a stretch mark has formed it cannot be repaired.

Stretch marks are the lines that appear on the surface of the skin when it is stretched beyond its elasticity. It happens when the skin is pulled by rapid growth or stretching. This can be caused due to pregnancy, sudden weight gain, and even body building. The marks are narrow streaks or lines which are of different color from surrounding skin and also slightly depressed. They generally appear in places like breasts, lower abdomen, upper arms, buttocks and thighs.

Although stretch marks are not harmful to health but they do take away the natural beauty of your skin. To get rid of such marks you need to take up some remedial actions as soon as possible.

What Causes Stretch Marks:

Weight Gain: When there is a sudden weight gain then it stretches the skin beyond its elasticity which leads to formation of stretch marks.

Pregnancy: During pregnancy woman’s body undergoes several changes and one of them is development of stretch marks on the belly area and breasts. Stretching of skin in this case is caused due to breast enlargement and baby growth within womb.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.