Stretch marks – they’re the stripes you don’t want to earn, but most people experience them at one point or another. As their name suggests, stretch marks are caused when the skin stretches or is stressed. The damage causes the red or purple streaks to appear, which fade to a silvery white over time.
A variety of factors cause stretch marks, but you’re more likely to get them if your family members had them and if you’re female. Don’t worry ladies! As you’ll see below, some guys get them too.
Take a look at the seven most common causes of stretch marks:
Weight gain and a growing belly make stretch marks a common occurrence during pregnancy. They usually appear in the final trimester, but some women will get them earlier.
The hormone glucocorticoid – produced by the adrenal glands – rises during pregnancy, inhibiting collagen production. Because collagen helps the skin retain its elasticity, the lowered levels at this time make the skin more vulnerable to the ruptures in the dermis that cause stretch marks.
Puberty is a time of rapid growth spurts causing stretch marks as the skin tries to keep up with the growing body. Girls may develop stretch marks on their thighs, hips and breasts, while boys may get them on their upper body.
If a person’s body mass index is over 30, they are classified as being obese. Obesity stretches the skin well beyond its limits, causing large stretch marks to form on the stomach, legs, arms and upper body.
- Rapid weight gain or loss
Many people know that gaining weight rapidly will often cause stretch marks, but most don’t realise that losing weight fast will have the same result. When you lose weight quickly due to illness or an extreme diet and exercise program, the skin loses elasticity and stretch marks may appear.
You may be trim and healthy, but if your parents and grandparents developed stretch marks during their lives, you may get them too. Specific genes are responsible for the levels of elastin and collagen in your body, so if you have a genetic predisposition to getting stretch marks, expensive creams may not be able to prevent them.
- A poor diet
What you eat and drink has an enormous impact on the health of your skin. If you’re consuming large amounts of preservatives and salt, your skin will suffer. Eat your fruit and veg and drink eight glasses of water a day and your skin will be more stretch-resistant and supple.
- Medical conditions
Certain medical conditions impact the amount of cortisol and collagen the body produces, which in turn, makes skin more vulnerable to stretch marks. These include Marfan syndrome, Cushing’s syndrome and Lichen planus. It’s also important to remember that steroids can slow your body’s ability to produce collagen, making stretch marks more likely.
If you’ve developed stretch marks for any reason, there’s no need to panic. While stretch marks never disappear entirely, with the right treatment from a professional skin care specialist you can minimise their appearance. Victorian Dermal Group’s stretch mark removal treatment will help you regain your confidence in no time, so book an appointment today.
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