Stretch marks appear on the skin as long, narrow streaks, stripes, or lines. They are extremely prevalent and occur when the skin is unexpectedly stretched. Stretch marks can afflict anyone, but they are more common in women than in men. They can appear on the stomach, thighs, hips, breasts, upper arms, and lower back, among other body areas.
This type of scarring occurs when the skin is unable to return to its original shape following a time of rapid growth, which can occur as a result of pregnancy, weight gain, weight loss, or puberty. Stretch marks affect more than half of all pregnant women.
Stretch marks are not physiologically harmful, but they might affect one's self-esteem and induce anxiety. Stretch marks are a big cosmetic problem for some people, and they can interfere with day-to-day activities.
Symptoms & Signs of Stretch Marks
The skin can appear thin and pink before stretch marks show. It could also be itchy or inflamed. Depending on skin tone, the marks appear as wrinkled, elevated streaks that might be red, purple, pink, reddish-brown, or dark brown. Over time, the streaks diminish and flatten, and they tend to turn a silvery colour. Stretch marks may fade over time, but this might take months or even years.
Causes of Stretch Marks
Stretch marks are caused by excessive skin expansion or atrophy. The following are some of the most common reasons for skin stretching:
- Pregnancy rates range from 50 to 90 percent. Stretch Marks occur in pregnant women during or after birth, according to a reliable source.
- Puberty is characterised by rapid growth in young people. Stretch marks may result as a result of this.
- Rapid weight gain might result in stretch marks if you acquire a lot of weight in a short period of time.
- Stretch marks can be caused by a variety of medical diseases, including Marfan syndrome and Cushing's syndrome. Cushing's syndrome causes the body to produce too much of a hormone, which causes rapid weight gain and skin fragility. Marfan syndrome causes skin tissue to lose its elasticity, and Cushing's syndrome causes the body to produce too much of a hormone, which causes rapid weight gain and skin fragility.
- Long-term usage of corticosteroid creams and lotions might cause a decrease in collagen levels in the skin. Collagen helps to tighten and support the skin, and a lack of it can lead to stretch marks.
- There are three layers to the skin. When connective tissue is stretched beyond its flexibility, stretch marks appear in the dermis or middle layer. This is usually caused by the skin's rapid expansion or contraction. The connective fibres in the dermis gradually stretch to support sluggish development as the body expands. Rapid growth, on the other hand, results in unexpected stretching. The dermis tears, as a result, allow the underlying layers of skin to show through.
This contributes to the appearance of stretch marks by causing them to form. Stretch marks fade to a silvery, white, or glossy appearance over time, as the pale fat beneath the skin replaces the typical blood vessels.
- When there are high levels of circulating cortisone or cortisone is applied to the skin, they are more prone to develop and grow more severe. Cortisone is made from cortisol, a stress hormone generated by the adrenal glands. Elastic fibres in the skin are weakened as a result of this.
Risk Factors of Stretch Marks
There have been a number of risk factors linked to the formation of stretch marks, but the data is mixed. Stretch mark causes must be confirmed by more research.
The following things may increase your chances of getting stretch marks:
- history of the family
- long-term illnesses
- BMI (body mass index) prior to pregnancy
- in mothers who are pregnant, the child's birth weight
These findings can be explained by the fact that obese mothers with larger kids stretch their skin more, as well as age-related changes in skin collagen and connective tissue, which impact the likelihood of ripping.
A skin inspection and a study of a person's medical history are all it takes to identify stretch marks. Typically, the doctor will ask questions based on signs and symptoms, as well as any current drugs or medical conditions.
Stretch marks aren't dangerous and don't cause any health issues. They may, in rare situations, suggest an underlying medical problem that necessitates treatment or monitoring.
Stretch mark treatment can be pricey, and it isn't always effective. It's doubtful that your insurer will cover treatment unless there's an underlying issue. Stretch marks are regarded as an aesthetic issue.
Creams, gels, lotions, and cosmetic surgery have all been recommended as stretch mark remedies, despite the fact that there is little medical evidence to back up their usefulness.
Treatment options are extremely restricted right now. They are a Reliable Source because of their capacity to provide long-term results for all skin types.
Stretch marks disappear and become undetectable over time. Stretch marks that occur during pregnancy normally fade away approximately 6 to 12 months following delivery for women.
Stretch marks on more exposed places of the body can be concealed using makeup while they are more visible.
Stretch marks are unsightly, but they are a common and usually transient issue. They pose no long-term health hazards, and therapy is usually aimed towards helping the individual with stretch marks feel better about themselves.Bagmi B