Stretch marks are a very common problem that almost everyone has to deal with at some point in their life. They are not easy to get rid of and most people just have to accept them as a part of their body.
This blog serves as an informational guide about stretch marks and helps you understand what causes them, why they happen and how you can treat them.
The Causes of Stretch Marks
Stretch marks, also known as 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 the result of tearing of the dermis, and can occur over the entire body. They are extremely common, and can affect both men and women. There are many causes, including:
Pregnancy – Pregnancy is one of the most common causes of stretch marks in women. There are many hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy that make women more prone to stretch marks. The abdomen is generally the most affected area because it is exposed to the most stretching. The breasts, thighs and hips can also be affected.
Bodybuilding – Bodybuilders who have quick gains in muscle mass often see stretch marks on various parts of their bodies, such as on the arms or legs.
Weight gain – Weight gain can cause stretch marks due to rapid stretching of the skin; this often occurs in adolescence when growth spurts occur or in pregnant women with multiple births where large amounts of weight are gained rapidly.
Heredity – Stretch marks can run in families. If your parents had them then you may develop them at some point as well
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 the result of a sudden stretching of the skin. As the skin is stretched beyond its limits, it breaks in the middle layer, or dermis. As this happens, scars known as stretch marks begin to form.
The dermis is made up of collagen and elastin fibers that work together to allow for the skin to stretch and retain its shape. When these fibers break due to rapid growth or over-stretching, stretch marks occur.
When this happens, blood vessels in the area begin to show through which causes them to appear red or purple in color. After a time, stretch marks fade and become white or gray in color as collagen production slows down and blood vessels lose their color.
Stretch marks (striae) are a common occurrence that affects people of all ages and both sexes. They appear as linear streaks in the skin, and can occur anywhere on the body, including the face.
Stretch marks are caused by rapid stretching of the skin. This is most commonly due to growth spurts that occur during adolescence, however, pregnancy and rapid weight gain (for example in body builders) can also cause stretch marks. The tendency to develop stretch marks may be inherited.
Striae distensae (the medical term for stretch marks) are formed when collagen fibres (the connective tissue that gives structure to skin) break down, allowing overlying skin to stretch. The result is a thinned area of skin with visible linear marks. Stretch marks usually start off as red or purple but fade over time to become white or silver in colour.
Stretch marks are a type of scar that forms when our skin stretches or shrinks quickly. The abrupt change causes the collagen and elastin, which support our skin, to rupture. As the skin heals, stretch marks may appear.
While stretch marks are more likely to appear on areas where larger amounts of fat are stored, it is possible for them to form anywhere on the body. They can affect both men and women and people of all skin colors; however, they tend to be more prominent in those with lighter-colored skin.
They tend to initially appear as reddish or purple lines, but tend to gradually fade to a lighter color. In some cases, they appear indented and have a different texture from the rest of the surrounding skin.
One of the most common causes of stretch marks is pregnancy. Stretch marks can appear on the belly, hips, and buttocks during pregnancy. The weight gain experienced during pregnancy can lead to these stretch marks as the skin is stretched to accommodate for the growth in size. Pregnancy hormones may also weaken collagen fibers, which are responsible for keeping the skin elastic.
For women who are breastfeeding, using creams such as Mederma or cocoa butter may help with the appearance of stretch marks. For those who are not nursing and getting pregnant again, there doesn’t appear to be a connection between stretch marks and future pregnancies; however, you can still expect new ones developing if you gain more weight in another pregnancy.
If you have diabetes or Cushing’s syndrome which causes obesity, maintaining your blood sugar levels or controlling weight gain may reduce your chances of getting stretch marks. If you have gained a lot of weight very quickly and have developed stretch marks, losing it gradually will help prevent your skin from stretching out again so rapidly and causing more damage that could lead to new ones forming.
In some cases, stretch marks may be caused by corticosteroid use or medications that contain corticosteroids. A form of steroids that is sometimes used to treat asthma and allergies,
Stretch marks, also called striae distensae, are a common problem for men and women. They occur when the skin is stretched during times of rapid weight gain or growth. While stretch marks are harmless, many people want to know how to get rid of them.
You may associate stretch marks with pregnancy and puberty. Pregnancy is a common time for the development of stretch marks because of the rapid changes in body size. During puberty, growth spurts can also cause new stretch marks to develop. But even without these factors, anyone can develop new stretch marks.
Here’s what you need to know about stretch marks: