Anyone can develop stretch marks, but some factors increase your likelihood of getting them, including: The best way to reduce the likelihood of getting stretch marks is to maintain a healthy weight. You may be more likely to get them if you: are pregnant – read more about stretch marks in pregnancy; are going through puberty; lose or gain weight quickly; are female; are overweight; use some kinds of steroid creams or tablets Who is at risk for developing stretch marks? Rapid growth frequently causes stretch marks. 2014;34:1050. Pregnancy, puberty, and rapid weight gain can all cause stretch marks. Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit organization. Weight gain during training for sporting events may also cause stretch marks as well. These long grooves or lines in your skin are not harmful to … Use of a specific anti-stretch mark cream for preventing or reducing the severity of striae gravidarum. they start as flat red lines, and they appear as slightly depressed white streaks over time. Stretch marks are an undesired skin condition. Natural Medicines. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Saag KG, et al. Combined with body and self-esteem issues, stretch marks can upset women far more than validate their personal progress. Accessed Nov. 6, 2015. During pregnancy you'll gain weight over a relatively brief period. If you don’t want to wait, there are treatments that can improve their appearance. It’s best to use this therapy on newer stretch marks. https://naturalmedicines.therapeuticresearch.com/. There are many products and procedures that promise to remove stretch marks, but there aren’t any that have proven effective so far. Causes for Stretch Marks on Stomach Other Than Pregnancy. Stretch marks seem to be caused by a stretching of the skin. Stretch marks on legs after pregnancy . Hexsel D, et al. Maternal physiology. What causes stretch marks? New stretch marks are bright red, blue, black or purple. You can have stretch marks just about anywhere, but they’re most common on your stomach, breasts, upper arms, thighs, and buttocks. Stretch marks, also known as Striae or Striae distensae, are a form of scarring on the skin with an off-color hue. The following treatments may be given to improve the appearance of stretchmarks. They don’t discriminate. Stretch marks aren't painful or harmful, but some people feel distressed about the way they make their skin look. Valente DS, et al. Since we have stretch marks forming on different body parts, the article will narrow down to address the subcategories of stretch marks depending on their area of appearance. International Journal of Cosmetic Science. When the skin is overstretched, then the elasticity is damaged. Rapid growth frequently causes stretch marks. Pregnancy also causes the skin on the stomach to stretch. What Causes Stretch Marks. During the stage of growth spurts: The child grows at a faster pace, especially during his or her puberty years. 2014;9:e97493. Pulsed dye laser therapy encourages the growth of collagen and elastin. They can also be caused by the overproduction of certain hormones. There’s no way to prevent stretch marks completely, even if you regularly use lotions and creams. They often fade but don't usually disappear. Extreme stretching can cause purple or red scars due to changes in the connective tissues and collagen fibers within the skin. Other factors that makes teens predisposed to stretch marks appearing include a genetic risk or family history of stretch marks, pregnancy, being overweight or obese, or taking a cortisol medication. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2014. http://www.accessmedicine.com. During any of these events, your skin will fluctuate quickly, resulting in the appearance of stretch marks. In pregnancy they usually form during the last trimester, and usually on the belly, but also commonly occur on the breasts, thighs, hips, lower back and buttocks; these are known as striae g Stretch marks or striae, are lesions that tend to form in the dermis during periods of hormonal flux, with weight gain or loss, pregnancy, and other periods of hormone change. Moisturizing your skin may help to relieve the itchiness of stretch marks. Stretch marks typically appear as bands of parallel lines on your skin. New insights on keloids, hypertrophic scars and striae. Stretch marks on your inner thighs occur naturally. 2013;35:233. Although some people might find stretch marks unsightly, they're nothing to be ashamed of -- they're completely normal and quite common. These lines are a different color and texture than your normal skin, and they range from purple to bright pink to light gray. Stretch marks are very common and do not just affect pregnant women. However, keeping your weight in a healthy range by eating well and exercising regularly can help to prevent stretch marks caused by sudden weight gain or loss. Pregnancy is one of the most well-known factors behind stretch marks, as well as puberty—it’s common knowledge that sudden weight gain is a key reason. The scar-like marks on the skin can have many causes; sometimes they're preventable but, more often, they're not. Tsai TL, et al. Hormonal changes in pregnancy can affect your skin and make you more likely to … Once you give birth, that is when the lines appear. According to Dr. Akhavan, stretch marks are caused when there's a period of rapid growth in your body (like growth spurts, pregnancy, weight gain, or … Marfan syndrome can lead to decreased elasticity in … What Causes Stretch Marks? Randomized, double-blind, controlled trial. The exact cause of male stretch marks isn’t known, though it’s thought that they develop when testosterone levels drop during puberty. Stretch marks are often caused by sudden growth or weight gain. The risk factors for the formation of stretch marks include females, pregnant women, both boys and girls in teens and people with certain genetic diseases. Stretching results in a breakdown of the connective tissue, inflammation, and scar formation as the injury begins to heal. Over time they may diminish, but will not disappear completely. There is permanent breakage of the cells and fibers of the skin. Stretch marks rarely cause physical symptoms that require treatment. Stretch marks: The occurrence of lines on the skin caused by prolonged stretching of the skin. As you age, the tissue and structure of your breasts begin to change. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. Applying a self-tanning gel or lotion may help to reduce stretch marks' appearance. 2014;32:193. Cunningham FG, et al. Goldsmith LA, et al., eds. © 1998-2020 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER). When your skin stretches a hormone is produced called cortisone. Weight gain during training for sporting events may also cause stretch marks as well. Rapid weight change is a possible cause of stretch marks (as discussed above), which is one reason why stretch marks can develop as a result of pregnancy. Corticosteroid creams, lotions, and pills can cause stretch marks by decreasing the skin’s ability to stretch. Cortisone — a hormone produced by the adrenal glands — weakens elastic fibers in the skin. "Mayo," "Mayo Clinic," "MayoClinic.org," "Mayo Clinic Healthy Living," and the triple-shield Mayo Clinic logo are trademarks of Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Mayo Clinic School of Continuous Professional Development, Mayo Clinic School of Graduate Medical Education, Book: Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy, FREE book offer – Mayo Clinic Health Letter. Applying a corticosteroid to your skin for a long time can also cause stretch marks. Treatment of Skin Disease: Comprehensive Therapeutic Strategies. Al-Himdani S, et al. Accessed Nov. 6, 2015. Stretch marks, also called striae, are scars that are associated with the skin being stretched and thinned, which causes the elastic fibers to break. Stretch marks can materialize on any fraction of the body—in a woman’s stomach when she is pregnant, in a body builder’s shoulders due to weightlifting—all this is brought about by the skin stretching. Aesthetic Surgery Journal. Stretch marks are streaks that appear on your abdomen, breasts, hips, buttocks and thighs. Today I just want to give you a clearer understanding of what stretch marks are and how you may be able to avoid it. Stretch marks are common in pregnant women, especially during the last trimester. This content does not have an English version. However, having too much of this hormone can make your skin lose its elasticity. Many factors can trigger the appearance of stretch marks. However, some people dislike their appearance and may feel self-conscious if the marks are conspicuous. None of these methods has been proven to be highly effective. There are a few common causes of stretch marks, such as growth spurts (especially due to puberty), weight gain, pregnancy, and weight loss. Stretch marks aren’t dangerous, and they often disappear over time. Advertising revenue supports our not-for-profit mission. Superficial dermabrasion versus topical tretinoin on early striae distensae: A randomized, pilot study. Sudden weight gain. These chemicals may have damaged cells in the skin. This is what leads to those lines that are a form of scarring. Stretch marks don't all look alike. If you have stretch marks, you can be sure that they will go away. Medical conditions: Certain conditions can cause stretch marks, such as Marfan syndrome and Cushing’s syndrome. Stretch marks may occur during various phases of life, may be related to increased cortisol (a hormone produced by the adrenal glands) secretion or be associated with increased body mass. Many women experience stretch marks during pregnancy as the skin stretches in numerous ways to make room for the developing baby. Korgavkar K, et al. The excimer laser stimulates skin color (melanin) production so that stretch marks match the surrounding skin more closely. Stretch marks are scars on the skin, which occurs when the collagen fibers and elastin tear during conditions like pregnancy, puberty, quick weight gain or sudden weight loss. Puberty. Stretch marks seem as linear streaks on the skin that has been overstretched, and that they run perpendicular to most lines of tension within the skin. The most common places that stretch marks occur are on the abdomen, thighs and breasts. 1. Stretch marks on legs after pregnancy . They vary depending on how long you've had them, what caused them, where they are on your body, and the type of skin you have. White and red stretch marks are the two distinctive classes of stretch marks. MacGregor JL, et al. The best way is to treat the cause and maintain a healthy weight so that these marks may disappear over time. The collagen tissue in some children cannot keep the pace with this dramatic growth spurt. Stretch marks happen when your body grows faster than your skin can keep up with. Unfortunately, not everyone can avoid it. Darker-skinned individuals may experience skin discoloration. What Causes Stretch Marks? Hernandez G, et al. Skin conditions and rashes can occur at any time throughout your pregnancy. No one’s first in line to show off their stretch marks. Gotu kola. They also tend to occur in adolescents who are rapidly growing. Causes of Stretch Marks. Although it is a very common condition, particularly among women, it is still a skin condition that most would like to avoid. If an individual gains weight rapidly, he or she may develop them. 4th ed. Cushing syndrome causes elevated cortisol levels, which leads to rapid weight gain. Brennan M, et al. Topical preparations for preventing stretch marks in pregnancy. Most of these changes are only temporary and will go away after pregnancy. Both men and women can get them. Causes and Risk Factors. Causes of Stretch Marks. Incidence and risk factors for striae gravidarum. Breast striae after cosmetic augmentation. Accessed Nov. 9, 2015. The result is stretching of skin in various region of the body. What causes stretch marks? Accessed Nov. 9, 2015. Striae distensae: A comprehensive review and evidence-based evaluation of prophylaxis and treatment. There are several reasons why the skin rapidly stretches and develops these scars, including pregnancy, sudden weight gain, puberty, as well as some medications. Water helps to keep the skin hydrated, which can help to keep stretch marks soft and supple, meaning they are … This causes the elastic fibers just under the surface of the skin to break, resulting in stretch marks. Stretch marks are caused by tearing of the dermis during periods of rapid growth of the body, such as during puberty or pregnancy. Their severity is affected by several factors, including your genetic tendency, degree of stress on the skin and cortisone level. Home Remedies for Stretch Marks: 5 Ingredients to Try, Debra Rose Wilson, Ph.D., MSN, R.N., IBCLC, AHN-BC, CHT, Dermarolling Is the Prickly Time Machine That’ll Erase Your Scars and Stretch Marks, Debra Sullivan, Ph.D., MSN, R.N., CNE, COI, Everything You Need to Know About Cocoa Butter, 10 Moisturizers for Dry Skin: Tips and Ingredients to Look For, The Third Trimester of Pregnancy: Skin Changes, The Second Trimester of Pregnancy: Changes in Skin, Vision, and Gums. The result is skin being pulled and stretched causing stretch marks. Applying self-tanning lotion to your stretch marks is a temporary way to minimize the difference in color between your normal skin and your stretch marks. Stretch Marks Causes and Risk Factors Stretch marks happen when your body grows quickly for any reason. The most common cause of stretch marks is pregnancy, and pregnancy-associated stretch marks are medically known as striae gravidarum. Stretch marks can affect just about anyone. Stretch marks are your skin’s natural response to sudden growth or stretching. Cortisone is a hormone naturally produced by your adrenal glands. Teenagers should avoid tanning, which may cause stretch marks to appear discolored against skin that does not have stretch marks. The risk factors for the formation of stretch marks include females, pregnant women, both boys and girls in teens and people with certain genetic diseases. Everyone can get stretch marks, but women are more likely to develop them than men, likely because females tend to have curvier body shapes (stretch marks often occur on the breasts, hips, buttocks, and thighs) and, of course, pregnancy is a major cause of them. Make a donation. Teenagers may also notice stretch marks after a sudden growth spurt. Stretch marks (striae) are indented streaks that often appear on the abdomen, breasts, hips, buttocks and thighs. Stretch marks on your back, as with any location, occur once the skin has been stretched too far. 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