Stretch Marks

Stretch Marks

Stretch marks are generally long, narrow streaks, lines or stripes that develop on the skin and looks different from the surrounding skin. These marks are the result of extreme stretching of the skin and most commonly found on the body of the women after or during the pregnancy period. Anyone can develop them, men and women both. Stretch marks are visible on various parts of the body such as tummy, thighs, upper arms, breasts, and lower back.

Stretch marks occur

  • Due to excessive stretching of the tummy during the pregnancy period

  • Weight gain

  • During puberty

  • Excessive weight loss

  • Sometimes as a result of acute trauma that affects the skin such as a car accident when pregnant.

  • Family history of stretch marks

  • Have an underlying health condition such as Cushing’s syndrome.

  • Maternal BMI at delivery

Causes of Stretch marks

Our skin consists of three key layers that are the outer layer (epidermis), the middle layer (dermis), and the deepest layer (hypodermis or subcutaneous). When the connective tissue is stretched beyond its normal limits of its elasticity due to contraction of the skin or rapid expansion because of sudden growth or weight gain, the formation of stretch marks in the dermis occurs. The rapid stretching causes the dermis to tear and forms the stretch marks.

They are more likely to develop and to appear where there are high levels of circulating cortisone, the stress hormone produced by the adrenal glands makes our elastic fibers weak. They begin with the slightly red or purple shade in appearance but with the moving time they transform into silvery white lines that may or may not be visible.