A variety of factors impact their severity, including genetics, stress on the skin and cortisone levels—cortisone is a hormone that weakens elastic fibers within the skin. 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. British Journal of Dermatology. If you don’t want to wait, there are treatments that can improve their appearance. In: Fitzpatrick's Dermatology in General Medicine. There is permanent breakage of the cells and fibers of the skin. Tsai TL, et al. While stretch marks may appear red or purple when they first develop, they will fade to almost flesh-toned over time. New stretch marks are bright red, blue, black or purple. Accessed Nov. 6, 2015. Stretch marks are common in certain circumstances: The following put you at greater risk for developing stretch marks: Your doctor can tell if you have stretch marks by simply looking at your skin and reviewing your medical history. Scarring causes stretch marks to develop. Because stretch marks occur when the skin grows too quickly, exercising can prevent a teenager from gaining fat that can cause stretch marks to expand 4. Compared to stretch marks from other causes, those caused by … They can occur in the abdomen, chest, hips and thighs. 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 Pregnancy, puberty, and rapid weight gain can all cause stretch marks. Al-Himdani S, et al. Stretch marks usually appear in a bluish or purplish color. During any of these events, your skin will fluctuate quickly, resulting in the appearance of stretch marks. Healthline Media does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Stretch marks can appear on anyone at any time. Stretch marks occur when skin gets overstretched. New insights on keloids, hypertrophic scars and striae. These long, thin, waving markers are also known as stripes. Today I just want to give you a clearer understanding of what stretch marks are and how you may be able to avoid it. This can result from corticosteroid medication use or a disease such as Cushing's syndrome. The causes of stretch marks can be difficult to understand. There’s no way to prevent stretch marks completely, even if you regularly use lotions and creams. Accessed Nov. 9, 2015. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2012. http://www.accessmedicine.com. 2012;66(suppl):AB29. See how to do it right, to avoid bad side…. When you touch stretch marks with your fingers, you might feel a slight ridge or indentation on your skin. These long, thin, waving markers are also known as stripes. Stretch marks are often caused by sudden growth or weight gain. Brennan M, et al. This causes the elastic fibers just under the surface of the skin to break, resulting in stretch marks. 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. Stretch marks are common in pregnant women, especially during the last trimester. Stretch marks are your skin’s natural response to sudden growth or stretching. Stretch marks typically appear as bands of parallel lines on your skin. Cortisone is a hormone naturally produced by your adrenal glands. There are several reasons why the skin rapidly stretches and develops these scars, including pregnancy, sudden weight gain, puberty, as well as some medications. Hormone imbalances from birth through adulthood. During the stage of growth spurts: The child grows at a faster pace, especially during his or her puberty years. Stretch marks on your back, as with any location, occur once the skin has been stretched too far. It is an unbalance of this hormone that causes stretch marks to appear as your skin loses its elasticity. Stretch marks on legs after pregnancy . Although stretch marks are more commonly viewed as a women’s issue, as we have mentioned, men are also susceptible to get them. 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. 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. Teenagers may also notice stretch marks after a sudden growth spurt. WHO IS MOST AT RISK OF GETTING STRETCH MARKS ON THEIR BREASTS? What medical treatments are available for stretch marks? Stretch marks seem to be caused by a stretching of the skin. This causes the elastic fibers just under the surface of the skin to break, resulting in stretch marks. 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. Corticosteroid creams, lotions, and pills can cause stretch marks by decreasing the skin’s ability to stretch. Stretch marks are your skin’s natural response to sudden growth or stretching. These chemicals may have damaged cells in the skin. 1. Over time they become less noticeable. Stretch marks are formed when the elastic mid layer of the skin known as the dermis gets stretched. It’s best to use this therapy on newer stretch marks. Randomized, double-blind, controlled trial. 1. Over time they may diminish, but will not disappear completely. Ehlers-Danlos syndrome weakens the structure of the skin, which can lead to stretch marks at a young age. Saag KG, et al. Rapid growth frequently causes stretch marks. Hormonal changes in pregnancy can affect your skin and make you more likely to … Sometimes, stretch marks feel itchy or sore. Applying a corticosteroid to your skin for a long time can also cause stretch marks. British Journal of Dermatology. After losing weight, the skin is no longer overstretched and the marks may become less obvious, but like all scars, they do not disappear completely. Stretch marks happen when your body grows faster than your skin can keep up with. Dermatologic Surgery. Any use of this site constitutes your agreement to the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy linked below. Gotu kola. Lebwohl MG, et al. It is also known as "striae distensae". Stretch marks are an undesired skin condition. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. They can happen whenever the skin is stretched, for example when we're growing during puberty or when putting on weight. Treatment can make stretch marks fade, but it won't completely remove them. While stretch marks may be relatively common, they tend not to be a cause for celebration. "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. Many women experience stretch marks during pregnancy as the skin stretches in numerous ways to make room for the developing baby. 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. When stretch marks first appear, they tend to be red, purple, pink, reddish-brown, or dark brown, depending on your skin color. Maternal physiology. Prevention is mostly avoiding quick weight gain and then loss. Stretching leads to a breakdown of connective tissue, inflammation, and then scar formation as the injury heals. 8th ed. Causes of Stretch Marks. It can be difficult to ever fully get rid of cellulite or stretch marks. Discover what they are here. During pregnancy or puberty, the hormone levels tend to change as adrenal glands secrete more of glucocorticoids. Genetics, clinical features and diagnosis of Marfan syndrome and related disorders. Stretch marks are a type of scar that forms an indent on the skin. Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit organization. These long grooves or lines in your skin are not harmful to … Philadelphia, Pa.: Elsevier; 2014. http://www.clinicalkey.com. 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. 24th ed. Your skin can’t stretch enough to keep up. Causes for Stretch Marks on Stomach Other Than Pregnancy. 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 can happen when your skin stretches a lot in a short space of time. Stretch marks aren’t dangerous, and they often disappear over time. After losing weight, the skin is no longer overstretched and the marks may become less obvious, but like all scars, they do not disappear completely. These marks are initially red or purple in color, but gradually fades to off-white or grey with silvery outline of the stretch marks. Corticosteroid creams, lotions, and pills can cause stretch marks by decreasing the skin’s ability to stretch. The most common cause of stretch marks is pregnancy, and pregnancy-associated stretch marks are medically known as striae gravidarum. Korgavkar K, et al. Stretching of the skin during weight gain and loss leads to stretch mark formation. If they suspect your stretch marks may be due to a serious illness, they may order blood, urine, or imaging tests. Stretch marks are caused by tearing of the dermis during periods of rapid growth of the body, such as during puberty or pregnancy. Moisturizing your skin may help to relieve the itchiness of stretch marks. 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. 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 … Dermatologic Clinics. 2014;34:1050. However, having too much of this hormone can make your skin lose its elasticity. 8th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2014. http://www.accessmedicine.com. The following treatments may be given to improve the appearance of stretchmarks. White and red stretch marks are the two distinctive classes of stretch marks. 2013;35:233. Early stretch marks may feel slightly raised and can be itchy. Common causes of stretch marks. Incidence and risk factors of striae distensae following breast augmentation surgery: A cohort study. Let us say you just got pregnant, the elasticity of the skin will be pushed further. The result is skin being pulled and stretched causing stretch marks. Stretch marks, also known as Striae or Striae distensae, are a form of scarring on the skin with an off-color hue. Combined with body and self-esteem issues, stretch marks can upset women far more than validate their personal progress. Pregnancy also causes the skin on the stomach to stretch. Stretch marks are stripes that appear on the body during periods of sudden growth or hormonal change. This content does not have an English version. Several genetic disorders make it easier for stretch marks to form. Causes and Risk Factors. What causes stretch marks? When the skin is overstretched, then the elasticity is damaged. Accessed Nov. 9, 2015. Stretch marks occur when the elastic middle layer of skin called the dermis is stretched. What Causes Stretch Marks? Stretch marks are caused by any extreme stretching of the skin. This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information: verify here. What causes stretch marks? If you have stretch marks, you can be sure that they will go away. 2014;170:527. The cause of having stretch marks comes down to the elasticity of your skin. Just about anyone can develop it but as mentioned before, women are much more likely to … Superficial dermabrasion versus topical tretinoin on early striae distensae: A randomized, pilot study. Make a donation. You can have stretch marks just about anywhere, but they’re most common on your stomach, breasts, upper arms, thighs, and buttocks. Debra Rose Wilson, PhD, MSN, RN, IBCLC, AHN-BC, CHT. Sudden weight gain. 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. Some men and women are prone to develop stretch marks on the abdomen, buttocks and thighs. Picard D, et al. Stretch marks can affect just about anyone. See our safe care and visitor guidelines, plus trusted coronavirus information. Medical conditions: Certain conditions can cause stretch marks, such as Marfan syndrome and Cushing’s syndrome. Stretch marks can occur due to a number of different reasons in both men and women, the most common of which are puberty and rapid weight gain (and pregnancy in women). Striae. Puberty, rapid muscle growth and weight gain can be some of the causes for stretchmarks in boys and girls during teenage (3) (4). 1. The collagen tissue in some children cannot keep the pace with this dramatic growth spurt. What Causes Stretch Marks. No matter the cause, dry, itchy skin is annoying and the…. These are often used to reduce inflammation. they start as flat red lines, and they appear as slightly depressed white streaks over time. As you age, the tissue and structure of your breasts begin to change. Hexsel D, et al. Stretch Marks Causes and Risk Factors Stretch marks happen when your body grows quickly for any reason. What causes stretch marks? Other possible causes include: Exposure to chemicals such as pesticides or insecticides during childhood and adolescence. Your doctor can help determine the cause of the stretch marks and discuss treatment options. However, some people dislike their appearance and may feel self-conscious if the marks are conspicuous. Obese and overweight people usually have stretch marks on different parts of their body since their skin is unable to expand fast enough to accommodate their growing size. 4th ed. While it’s a type of scarring that…, Stretch marks look like indented streaks in your skin. 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. Dry skin can happen for a number of reasons, including weather changes or skin conditions. Stretching results in a breakdown of the connective tissue, inflammation, and scar formation as the injury begins to heal. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. This is especially common as a result of: Puberty; Pregnancy; Genetics; When specific areas of the body grow more quickly than normal and your skin can’t quite keep up. 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 These lines commonly appear during or after pregnancy or after a sudden change in your weight. Wright MJ, et al. 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. Topical preparations for preventing stretch marks in pregnancy. Stretch marks are a result of skin stretching and an increase of cortisone in your system. Treatment of Skin Disease: Comprehensive Therapeutic Strategies. Stretch marks seem to be caused by a stretching of the skin. Treating Cellulite and Stretch Marks. Rapid growth frequently causes stretch marks. Stretch marks, also called striae, are scars that are associated with the skin being stretched and thinned, which causes the elastic fibers to break. Puberty. Their severity is affected by several factors, including your genetic tendency, degree of stress on the skin and cortisone level. Causes Of Stretch Marks In Children. Accessed Nov. 6, 2015. Cunningham FG, et al. Pregnancy also causes the skin on the stomach to stretch. This continual tugging and stretching can cause stretch marks. Check out these best-sellers and special offers on books and newsletters from Mayo Clinic. Stretch marks, also known as Striae or Striae distensae, are a form of scarring on the skin with an off-color hue. 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. None of these methods has been proven to be highly effective. These are the most common causes of stretch marks. There are many products and procedures that promise to remove stretch marks, but there aren’t any that have proven effective so far. Fractional photothermolysis is similar to pulsed dye laser therapy in that it uses a. What Bodily Changes Can You Expect During Pregnancy? What causes stretch marks? Oral and topical corticosteroids can also cause stretch marks. International Journal of Cosmetic Science. PLOS One. Here’s a look at why and how. They also tend to occur in adolescents who are rapidly growing. Stretch marks on legs after pregnancy . Teenagers should avoid tanning, which may cause stretch marks to appear discolored against skin that does not have stretch marks. © 1998-2020 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER). Causes of stretch marks, in this case, may remain the same for either type. Stretch marks: Introduction. STRETCH MARKS are caused by tearing of the dermis during periods of rapid growth of the body including puberty or pregnancy. This is what leads to those lines that are a form of scarring. They form in the middle layer of your skin after being stretched too far. Hussain HA, et al. Accessed Nov. 6, 2015. http://www.uptodate.com/home. During pregnancy you'll gain weight over a relatively brief period. Goldsmith LA, et al., eds. What Causes Stretch Marks. Common causes of stretch marks include weight gain, pregnancy, and bodybuilding as your body changes or grows rapidly. 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. 2014;9:e97493. Remember that the severity of the stretchmarks may vary depending on the skin type, genetic factors, skin elasticity, and cortisol levels. During any of these events, your skin will fluctuate quickly, resulting in the appearance of stretch marks. Women are far more likely to develop stretch marks, in general. Stretch marks are very common and do not just affect pregnant women. Causes of Stretch Marks. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Stretch marks on your inner thighs occur naturally. The most common cause of stretch marks is pregnancy, and pregnancy-associated stretch marks are medically known as striae gravidarum. All rights reserved. Causes of Stretch Marks on Legs. Most of these changes are only temporary and will go away after pregnancy. If an individual gains weight rapidly, he or she may develop them. Stretch marks aren't painful or harmful, but some people feel distressed about the way they make their skin look. Over time they may diminish, but will not disappear completely. Striae distensae (stretch marks). Darker-skinned individuals may experience skin discoloration. Stretch, basically, are thin streaks or lines and are long and that appears on the skin. Up to 90% of women may be affected by the cracking of the skin during expansion from pregnancy leading to permanent stretch marks. Valente DS, et al. When the body's elastic fibers deep beneath the epidermis becomes damaged these scars can appear. Stretch marks (striae) are indented streaks that often appear on the abdomen, breasts, hips, buttocks and thighs. Let us know the reason for stretch … Stretch marks are your body's natural response to growth. Stretch marks are streaks that appear on your abdomen, breasts, hips, buttocks and thighs. When rapid growth or weight gain occurs, especially during teenage years, it is common for stretch marks to appear in boys and girls alike. Cushing syndrome causes elevated cortisol levels, which leads to rapid weight gain. Stretch marks can cover large areas of the body, but it happens rarely. Skin changes and diseases in pregnancy. Advertising revenue supports our not-for-profit mission. In: Fitzpatrick's Dermatology in General Medicine. If an individual gains weight rapidly, he or she may develop them. The hormonal and physiologic changes during pregnancy are unique in the life of women. 2014;40:537. See detailed information below for a list of 14 causes of Stretch marks, Symptom Checker, including diseases and drug side effect causes. Warnings. However, no treatment can make stretch marks disappear completely. You may notice changes in your skin, vision, and gums. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Applying a self-tanning gel or lotion may help to reduce stretch marks' appearance. They can also be caused by the overproduction of certain hormones. Weight gain during training for sporting events may also cause stretch marks as well. Stretch marks don't all look alike. What causes stretch marks? The most common places that stretch marks occur are on the abdomen, thighs and breasts. Certain conditions can cause stretch marks, such as Marfan syndrome and Cushing's syndrome. Stretch marks are the number one thing that everyone hopes they don’t get. Stretch, basically, are thin streaks or lines and are long and that appears on the skin. If you have stretch marks on your stomach, but are not pregnant, nor have you ever been, you’re not alone. Pulsed dye laser therapy encourages the growth of collagen and elastin. Stretch marks: The occurrence of lines on the skin caused by prolonged stretching of the skin. They often fade but don't usually disappear. As a result, many women develop stretch marks around the belly.
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