Stretch marks, also known as striae or stria, can be annoying and frustrating when they appear on any part of our body. They normally show up on the stomach, calves, upper arm, lower back, breast area, shoulders.
Stretch marks usually occur after the dermis has been subjected to a prolonged stretch, leading to the embarrassing scars that are usually brown or pink in their first appearance (the blood vessels in the scars give it that bright color), changing color to match that of the skin after some few weeks…after the blood vessels have contracted.
Stretch marks can be really embarrassing and can be deduced by people who know little about it as a sign of poor hygiene. Stretch marks can also make you less attractive to the opposite sex.
Below are some causes of stretch marks you need to know:
What Causes Stretch Marks?
- Pregnancy – Pregnancy is the major cause o stretch marks. If you’re pregnant, it is likely that your belly would expand at a rapid pace. More stretch marks can form after each pregnancy.
- Exercise – if you start putting on more muscle mass by lifting some weight or doing some rigorous exercises, then stretch marks could show on your body.
Contrary to popular belief that stretch marks only appear on people gaining weight, any activity you engage in that stresses your dermis can cause stretch marks.
- Puberty – Stretch marks usually occur in teenagers when their body grows at a faster rate than the elasticity of their skin could handle.
- Obesity and Rapid Weight Gain – This is another common cause of stretch marks. Stretch marks tend to occur anywhere there is stored fat in the body. And the extent and size of the stretch marks usually depend on the level of the person’s obesity.
- Hormones – Most researchers around the world attribute the major cause of stretch marks to be hormone imbalance.
Hormone imbalance causes the elastic and the collagen fibers in the skin to tear over when the dermis is subjected to stress, leading to the formation of scars called stretch marks.
Other Causes of Stretch Marks
You may have stretch marks if:
- You have a syndrome or health condition
- After the inappropriate use of corticosteroid medications (creams or lotion used in the treatment of skin problems like eczema
- You have a family history of stretch marks