Ask most people what causes stretch marks and most will reply “pregnancy". Even though this is very true, there are a few different common causes. Also, most don’t know why these things cause stretch marks to begin with.
Common Causes of Stretch Marks
Stretch marks are found on about 55% of women and 25% men. This definitely supports the common “pregnancy” response you will most likely receive.
Here is the list of all the biggest causes:
- During pregnancy a woman’s body expands to make room for the baby. This continued strain develops stretch marks.
- Extreme weight loss leaves a person’s skin with less mass to contain, so skin will sag. Eventually, depending on the excess skin, the skin will shrink back to a smaller size.
- Rapid weight gain or growth (as during puberty), instead of losing the mass, the skin now has to accommodate more and stretches as a result.
- Too much of the hormone cortisone due to excess stress and adrenal diseases.
As you can see, it’s not only one thing, but a few!
There is a common theme among most of them: the skin is put under stress and torn.
What exactly causes stretch marks?
Skin is made of elastic tissue. When put under too much stress the skin will stretch as much as possible and eventually tear. But the tears are tiny, often leaving only red and purple marks as remainders. These marks eventually heal and turn into scars shaped like parallel lines that are indented or raised on the body.
The scars are what we call stretch marks.
Also, if someone’s body has excess amounts of the hormone cortisol in the body, this can lead to stretch marks. Cortisone levels increase due to stress and certain diseases, such as Cushing’s syndrome, Marfan syndrome, Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, and other disorders affecting the adrenal gland.
Risk Factors the Cause Stretch Marks
As can be seen from the above list, there are groups more likely to develop stretch marks than others.
Who is morel likely to develop stretch marks over time?
- Pregnant women and women in general (they are the ones who become pregnant)
- People who are overweight
- Teenagers may get stretch marks if experiencing rapid growth during puberty. These marks tend to fade over time.
- Individuals who frequently use cortisone cream and other medicines containing cortisone (pill medications, lotions, etc.).
- Those affected by Cushing's syndrome and the previous mentioned diseases above.
Conclusion: Recap and What can Prevent Stretch Marks?
Pregnancy, weight changes, medications, stress, diseases, and even puberty are all leading causes of stretch marks.
Although never a serious medical concern by itself, stretch marks can reduce an individual’s self-esteem and add further stress to their life.
The best way to avoid stretch marks is with prevention. Leading a healthy lifestyle along with consulting your physician about using specific natural stretch mark creams will help reduce your chances of forming stretch marks. Supplementing a healthy lifestyle with Vitamin K and Rosehip oil have been shown to be very helpful in preventing stretch marks and reducing current ones.