Stretch Marks: Facts, Causes, and Best Treatment

Stretch marks, called striae by dermatologists, are characterized as off-color skin scarring that occurs when the skin’s connective tissue breaks. Sometimes, this prolonged pull on the epidermis overwhelms the elasticity of the skin surface, causing it to tear. They appear in many areas of the body, including the midsection, limbs, thighs, and upper arms. 

Stretch marks usually show up as narrow bands on your epidermis. Such lines seem to be distinct in texture and color from your healthy skin and vary from purple to light gray. You may notice a slight indent on your skin if you feel the stretch marks with your fingers. They turn white as stretch marks regenerate and while it does not entirely disappear, using a stretch mark removal cream can fade it.

Red stretch marks are most often stereotypically correlated with gaining weight. However, many other factors cause this, including underlying medical conditions.

The most likely causes of stretch marks are:

  •     Changes in weight– Gaining or losing a lot of weight in a short period puts a strain on your epidermis, which will have to stretch out or shrink to cater to the transition.
  •     Pregnancy – Throughout pregnancy, you may encounter uneven body development, especially across the stomach, thighs, and hips. These changes happen during most of the second and third trimester of pregnancy, which causes stretch marks.
  •     Growth spurts – Teenagers may get reddish stretch marks throughout adolescence as a byproduct of sped up body development and weight gain.
  •     Rapid muscle growth– Both weightlifting and muscle building can often result in pinkish stretch marks from muscles that expand in a relatively short time.
  •     Breast augmentation– Breast enlargement can lead to an increase in stretched skin in the chest based on the elasticity of your dermis and the size of your augmentations.
  •     Corticosteroids – designed for short-term use. Long term usage of corticosteroids may contribute to adverse side effects. They can cause chronic inflammation, resulting in excess weight and stretched skin. Over-the-counter hydrocortisone can also weaken your skin that may cause stretch marks.
  •     Family background– Stretch marks run in the family.

What is the best treatment for stretch marks?

Products that may boost the elasticity of the dermis before stretching injury may help. Use mild products, especially if you have sensitive skin to avoid irritation. Using stretch mark removal cream prevents the skin from suffering lasting damage. Rub the product diagonally across the stretch mark and seal with sunscreen to protect it from further discoloration and eventually fade it. Just a reminder, pregnant women should always seek their physician’s advice before trying out any product to ensure safety.

Prevention is the ultimate method to control stretch marks, so always ensure that your skin is strong and healthy. The food you eat significantly contributes to the wellness of our skin, so you have to watch what you eat. Dietary fish oil products can help maintain hydration of the skin, and vitamin C capsules guarantee that you produce excellent quality collagen.

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