The stretch marks are intended streaks that often appear on the thighs, buttocks, hips, breasts, and abdomen. As time passes, stretch marks become less noticeable. They typically appear as bands of parallel lines on the skin. These lines are having different texture and color than the normal skin. Their color can range from purple to bright pink to light gray. They are very common in pregnant women, especially during the last trimester. Also, stretch marks can happen after a sudden change in weight. Stretch marks tend to happen in adolescents who are rapidly growing. Also, there are some cases when stretch marks can feel sore or itchy. They are not dangerous and they often disappear over time. There are many treatments for stretch marks that can make them fade but you should know that these treatments will not completely remove them. You should know that stretch marks are not harmful or painful but some people can feel distressed about the way they make their skin to look. There are many women who get stretch marks during the pregnancy because the skin stretches in many different ways to make room for the developing baby. This continual stretching and tugging can cause stretch marks. Also when you rapidly gain or lose weight, then you can have stretch marks. It is known that teenagers can notice stretch marks after a sudden growth spurt. Corticosteroid pills, lotions, and creams can cause stretch marks because they are decreasing the ability of the skin to stretch. There are some studies in which are said that the Ehlers – Danlos syndrome, Marfan’s syndrome, Cushing syndrome, and other adrenal gland disorders can cause stretch marks by increasing the amount of cortisone in your body. Doctors are often referring to stretch marks as striae or stria or during the pregnancy, they are referred to as striae gravidarum. There are some cases when in teenage boys, stretch marks can develop on the back, overlying the spine horizontally which looks like the rungs on a ladder. Those stretch marks which are caused by Cushing’s syndrome (this is a condition where the blood has high levels of the hormone called cortisol) tend to be wider and larger and they can also appear on the face.
Most Common Symptoms of stretch marks:
You should know that the stretch marks do not all look alike. They can vary a lot depending on the type of skin you have, where they are on your body, what caused them and how long you have had them. Here are some common variations:
- Streaks covering large areas of the body
- Streaks on the abdomen, breasts, hips, buttocks or thighs
- Bright streaks that fade to a lighter color
- Pink, red, black, blue or purple streaks
- Indented streaks or lines in the skin
In most cases, stretch marks are not noticeable and they will fade over time. If you are concerned about the appearance of your skin, or if the stretch marks are covering large areas of your body, then you should talk with your doctor. Your doctor will tell you the cause for your stretch marks and he or she will tell you about the treatment options. Also, many people choose cosmetic camouflage which can be easily found in pharmacies. This makeup can be used to cover small areas of the skin which are affected by the stretch marks. Some makeup is waterproof and they can last 2 – 3 days.
Causes of stretch marks:
These types of marks are caused by a stretching of the skin. The severity of stretch marks is affected by many factors, such as cortisone level, degree of stress on the skin and genetic tendency. The cortisone is a hormone that is produced by the adrenal glands and this hormone weakens elastic fibers in the skin.
What are the risk factors of stretch marks:
It is known that every single person can develop stretch marks but there are some factors which can increase your risk of getting them, such as
- Having Marfan syndrome, Cushing’s syndrome or certain other genetic disorders
- Undergoing breast enlargement surgery
- Using corticosteroid medication
- Being Caucasian (having pale skin)
- Rapidly gaining or losing weight
- Being overweight or obese
- Being pregnant, especially for younger women
- Having a personal or family history of stretch marks
- Being female