A stretch mark is defined as a scar or a long narrow line that occurs on the skin. It may appear as pink, brown, red, purple or silver lines. Stretch marks are more common in women than men and can be pretty annoying and bothersome. They cause a slight ridge or indentation on the skin.
If you have stretch marks, you have probably wished them gone a couple of times. You may even have gone as far as using expensive creams, which claim to rid your skin off stretch marks but only leave you worse off than before. You’re better off consulting with a professional and performing the cosmetic body contouring procedures.
If you are curious to know why that stretch mark is on your skin, here are eight stretch mark causes that might have influenced it.
Pregnancy is one of the most common stretch mark causes. When a woman is pregnant, her body tends to grow faster than the skin covering it. Due to this rapid growth, the skin does not have enough time to adjust. This makes it tear, leaving a scar that appears as a stretch mark on the surface of the skin. Increase in hormonal levels during pregnancy attracts water into the skin, which consequently leads to relaxation of the bonds between collagen fibres. As a result, the skin becomes vulnerable to tear due to the stretching. And that’s how you get stretch marks after pregnancy.
2. Rapid Weight Gain or Weight Loss
Weight fluctuation may be one of the common stretch mark causes. Rapid weight gain usually causes the skin to overstretch. This leaves the skin with some reddish stretch marks, which over time fade away to match the skin tone. The severity of the stretch marks depends on skin elasticity, which varies from one person to the other. When you start to lose weight, the stretch marks appear closer to one another. The appearance of stretch marks is a result of weight loss changes from the white and reddish marks, to wrinkles.
3. Muscle Gain
Similar to weight fluctuation, muscle gain can also be among the more common stretch mark causes. This is seen mostly in bodybuilders and other people who work out regularly. These are predominantly men. The stretch marks, in this case, are a muscle gain, especially around the biceps area, thighs, and shoulders. The strict and vigorous workout plans result in the appearance of stretch marks. If you are the kind of person that love to do extreme workouts, you might want to cut down on some of the intense workouts to have a flawless, stretch-marks free skin.
4. Inherited Genes
Some people are more prone to getting stretch marks due to their family history and genes. This is most common among people with weak collagen, and who develop stretch marks during pregnancy. Nothing can be done to prevent this type of stretch marks. However, over time, the stretch marks usually disappear.
Stretch marks are very common during adolescence. As boys and girls develop, they can quickly pile on weight. The pulling and expanding of the skin cause it to tear, resulting in stretch mark scars. Among areas that are likely to get stretch marks include the breasts, hips and on the stomach. This is because, among girls, it is during puberty that the breasts and the hips begin to develop.
Steroids, though sometimes taken to treat conditions such as congenital adrenal hyperplasia, can damage the connective tissue in the skin. Such a condition will require the patient to be on long-term steroids medication. They are advised to carry a steroids treatment card, which clearly outlines guidance on the precautions to take to minimize the risks of severe side effects. When administered wrongly, steroids can cause stretch marks.
7. Medical Conditions
Conditions such as Marfan syndrome and Cushing’s syndrome may cause stretch marks. This is because they cause a reduction in skin elasticity and lead to high production of hormones. Consequently, they lead to drastic weight gain.
8. Breast Implant Surgery
Let us look at a hypothetical case of a woman seeking to get breasts implants. Her initial breast size is a 32 AA, and she decides to get a size C full. Stretch marks will definitely appear since the skin where her initial size 32 AA was is not big enough for size C full. Consequently, the skin is likely to undergo rapid stretching.
Stretch marks can be a huge cause of low self-esteem, especially among women. Having a toned, smooth body is most people’s idea of flawless skin. However, there are certain instances that make it difficult to avoid getting stretch marks, especially after a pregnancy. Important to note is that no cream in the market, expensive or not, can completely get rid of stretch marks. The only thing the creams aid in is reducing the appearance of stretch marks. You don’t have to get stressed up or lower your self-esteem just because there are stretch marks on your body. They are a natural occurrence and will eventually fade with time.