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!