Saturday, 26 May 2012


Stretch marks are quite frustrating. They can appear anywhere on your body and unfortunately, cannot always be covered up with clothes and most creams and topical treatments do not fulfill what they promise. So what are these little road maps that are on many of our bodies and what can be done about them?
Stretch marks, also known as striae, are most commonly found on the upper arms, thighs, buttocks, breasts, and abdomen and are normally pink, reddish, purple, or white in color. Though stretch marks are normally thought to appear on pregnant women (when their tummies grow larger, stretching their skin in addition to their hormones changing), anyone can get stretch marks and many factors can depend on this.  They are caused by a literal stretching of the skin combined with an increase in cortisone, which is a hormone formed by the adrenal glands. According to the Mayo Clinic, “cortisone may weaken elastic fibers in the skin,” hence causing stretch marks to appear.

Besides pregnancy, others that have stretch marks may have developed them from these conditions:
Weight Gain: Anyone who has lost a dramatic amount of weight will undoubtedly develop stretch marks. The skin is stretched when one is at a larger weight and then shrinks when the weight is lost. Teenagers are also prone to develop stretch marks due to their body compositions changing and with the imbalance of hormones. Anyone who lifts weights consistently will more than likely develop stretch marks on their arms, shoulders, and possibly on their backs from their muscles growing, thus stretching out the skin.
Certain Medicines: The repeated use of oral or systematic steroids can cause stretch marks when the body’s muscles become larger at a very rapid rate. Corticosteroid creams and certain lotions and pills can cause stretch marks. Read warning labels carefully before using certain medicines and receive doctor’s approval first.
Illness: Cushing’s Syndrome and certain adrenal gland diseases can also cause stretch marks of significant proportion. Other diseases can also cause stretch marks so consult a doctor if you developing stretch marks quite quickly and for no apparent reason.
Though stretch marks can be frustrating and cosmetically unappealing, they are harmless. Certain treatments can reduce the appearance of stretch marks but nothing can fully rid your skin of them. Some options include certain laser treatments, microdermabrasion, and tretinoin cream (which also helps minimize fine lines, wrinkles, and age spots/scarring). Remember, every mark on your skin is beautiful and makes you, YOU. Do not obsess over imperfections…rather embrace them and enjoy every moment of LIFE!

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