Have you ever wondered what causes stretch marks and probably how you can help get rid of them? Have you ever wondered why stretch marks should even appear at all? Well, this article should help you out in answering some of those questions bugging your mind about this very common but sore-looking kind of marks.
Stretch marks also known as Striae in the medical world are skin abnormalities that particularly appear as parallel line bands on the body. They don’t cause pain or discomfort, but they are different in appearance from the other lines in the body.
Depending on the person’s skin color, these bands may appear in different colors such as purple, Gray or sometimes may appear to be light pink or brownish in color (mostly brownish or black in dark people). When you feel the stretch marks with the tip of your fingers, you may feel something like a slight ridge or an indentation.
These marks are formed due to the excess stretching and rupture of the elastic fibers found in the skin hence its name stretch marks. These mostly occur due to a large deposition of fat within that area and it is mostly seen during pregnancy or when a person is obese. Although, these marks may not be a clear indication of one being obese, it certainly is a sign of obesity.
Fast fact 1: In some slim people, stretch marks are found also on the skin. Hence, obesity is not the only reason why one can get stretch marks.
Stretch marks are mostly seen on the breasts, the abdomen, the thighs, the buttocks, the back of the leg, and the arm (either close to the armpit or inner arms). Stretch marks are always seen during adolescence. For teenagers growing quickly and rapidly, stretch marks are found on these areas but after growth is complete, they tend to disappear after some time.
Stretch marks is also seen when there is an increased level of cortisone from the adrenal glands found on the top of the kidneys in one’s body. Having excess cortisone concentrated in a particular area can over stretch the skin, and make the skin lose its elasticity hence the presence of stretch marks.
During pregnancy, due to the creation of room by the skin and uterus for the baby to grow and develop, the skin tends to over-stretch breaking its limit and hence the appearance of stretch marks.
Fast fact 2: Do you know that stretch marks appear when you quickly gain or lose weight?
Some diseases can also lead to the appearance of stretch marks and such diseases include CUSHING’S Syndrome, MARFAN’S syndrome and also ELHERS-DANLOS syndrome. These diseases tend to cause stretch marks because of the increased production of cortisone which is a typical indicator to these diseases.
There are some facts that one must know about stretch marks that will help your understanding of it.
- Stretch marks isn’t a disease, but it can be an indicator of the presence of a disease. Once a person has stretch marks, it may mean an increase of cortisone in your body indicating the presence of some diseases and underlying syndromes. Stretch marks in itself is only due to the lack of the elastic ability of the skin hence the overstretched skin bands.
- Genetics can also mean you can have Stretch marks. Despite or regardless of your weight and hormonal levels, if you are genetically predisposed to having stretch marks, you would have them. Therefore because of this fact, some individuals whether they like it or not, they would have Stretch marks no matter their weight or hormonal levels.
- Medically, there are two different types of stretch marks namely STRAIE RUBRA and STRAIE ALBA. STRAIE Rubra are classified as the developing stretch marks and they have some characteristic colors such as purple, pink or red. While striae alba indicates stretch marks that are fully developed, and their characteristic colors are white or silver striations.
Fast fact 3: Minimal exercise can help in the reduction of stretch marks rather than a rigorous stressful exercise.
- Both men and women are prone to having stretch marks and not just the women alone. Men too are equally affected by stretch marks so ladies, don’t think you are alone in this. Due to the muscle building and intense athletic workouts done by men, their skin is prone to having stretch marks.
But men lose their stretch marks easily more than women and this is because the amount of fat deposits found in women is higher than that of men. This is because men in replace of fatty tissues have more muscles while women have more fatty tissues in their body.
- Watching what you eat can help you prevent stretch marks but cannot help you completely avoid them. Being picky or particularly selective about the food you eat will cause you to watch yours weight gain and hence prevent the elastic fibers of your skin from going extinct.
But if genetics isn’t in your favor, you might still have Stretch marks though not as much or as pronounced as found in someone with excess weight gain, but the presence of stretch marks will still be there.
- Some drugs taken for other diseases can cause the appearance of stretch marks. Drugs used in treating chronic eczema and some other conditions can cause stretch marks to occur. Though they are rarely permanent and often tend to disappear after these drugs are stopped, they come as a result of the reduction of the collagen levels of the body.
- Stretch marks once caught early at the RUBRA stage can easily be treated. But when they reach the ALBA stage, there is very little that can be done about it.
- You can improve the outlook of the stretch marks and subsequently reduce them by using creams such as TRETINION which is quite helpful in increasing collagen level in the skin hence enhancing the elastic ability of your skin decreasing the appearances of stretch marks.
Fast fact 4: Drinking enough water can also help in improving the elastic ability of your skin.
- Stretch marks are very difficult to treat because they are caused by lesions in the skin. Their appearance can only be improved by hardly can they be treated. You can only reduce their formation by taking in foods that will improved your collagen levels and thereby increasing your skin elastic levels hence reducing stretch marks.
If you have Stretch marks, I will suggest you visit a dermatologist and discuss your options I.e. things that should be done to help improve your skin’ elasticity and hence help you prevent further production of stretch marks and also help you improve the outlook of the previous ones already appearing on your body.