Our skin has three layers:
Stretch marks are nothing but tears in dermis: Flawless dermis bars stretch marks. However, when a speedy growth or weight gain happens within concise time, your body skin gets stretched more. Beyond a measurable pressure, the collagen fibers breakdown to form tears in the dermis that shows up through the epidermis as stretch marks.
In the early stages, the tear in the dermis exposes off the blood vessels presenting as red or purple streaks on the epidermis. The parallel lines may be slightly raised and may feel wrinkly. Hereafter, shrinking of blood vessels uncover the fat beneath visible as flattened lines fading to a white or silvery color that become indistinct with time.
Stretch marks are just a cosmetic concern for people who might experience it in abdomen, breasts, upper arms, underarms, back, hips, thighs and buttocks.
Most people think that stretch marks occur only during pregnancy which is not true. Here are some causes that cause stretchy lines on your skin.
Pregnancy bumps is the common reason for stretch marks.
Over 90% of pregnant women develop stretch marks starting from the sixth month. When pregnant, you produce hormones which soften the pelvic ligaments (tough tissue bands that bridge joints) to make labor easier. Likewise, these hormones soften the fibers of skin. So over-growing skin in abdomen, breasts, and thighs of a mom to-be will bear stretch marks.
Getting extra fat may pay with stretch marks.
If you gain weight in a short time frame, you are likely to get stretch marks. Wherever there is fat deposit, the probability of visible stretchy lines is high. Stretch marks may also pop up if you are rapidly reducing your weight by dieting. So, make sure that you lose weight steadily.
Teens attaining puberty.
As with puberty, the outburst of growth spurts is the reason for teens getting stretch marks even if they are not overweight. Girls get them on their hips, thighs, and breasts while boys on their shoulders and back.
If your mother has had stretch marks then you are more likely to have it too. Apart from pregnancy, stretch marks are observed in 70% of women and 40% of men.
Bodybuilders, watch out for stretch marks.
Athletes and bodybuilders increase their muscle size and strength through weight-lifting. The bulging muscles may end up tearing the dermis.
Stretch marks appear in rare health conditions.
Stretch marks appear in rare health conditions such as Cushing syndrome where your body generates too much cortisol, a hormone that decreases the amount of collagen, which is why you are prone to quite noticeable and dark colored stretch marks. While, Marfan’s syndrome shows up when there is a faulty gene that weakens your body's skin and connective tissues affecting their ability to stretch. Consequently, your skin loses its resistance to stretch marks. If you have Marfan’s syndrome, you may develop stretch marks on your shoulders, hips, or lower back.
Taking corticosteroids is rare but it important to mention that prolonged use of corticosteroid medicines in cream or lotion forms may lead to stretch marks. These medicines are used to treat skin conditions. Likewise, the hormone cortisol reduces the amount of collagen in your skin and you again fall for the lines.
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