Wondering about recent stretch marks? You’re not alone. Stretch marks are common among many people and often come unexpectedly. Typically, they appear as long bands of parallel lines on your skin and can look different than your normal skin in color and texture. Stretch marks don’t have boundaries either. They can appear almost anywhere, being most common on your stomach, breasts, upper arms, thighs, and buttocks. Sometimes, they even cause discomfort through soreness or itchiness. Fortunately, research has allowed us to educate ourselves on what causes stretch marks, and make a choice about what actions we can take to prevent them from appearing on our skin.
Who Can Get Stretch Marks
The reality is, anyone can get stretch marks, but there are some factors that will cause a person to be more likely to develop them. First, check your family history. If others in your family have gotten stretch marks, you will likely get them too. Heredity plays a big part in whether or not you are at risk. Men and women both get stretch marks, but women are more likely to receive them. If you are caucasian this also gives you a greater chance.
Different Causes of Stretch Marks
There are three main layers of the skin; the epidermis, dermis, and hypodermis. Stretch marks have been found to occur as a result of the dermis stretching combined with an increase of cortisone in your system. Cortisone is a hormone produced by your adrenal glands and producing too much of it can lead to your skin losing its elasticity. Stretch marks can be classified as rubra or alba. Rubra are pink or red in color and inflamed bands. Over time, they turn silvery white, becoming alba which are harder to hide.
Many women experience stretch marks during pregnancy as the skin stretches to make room for the baby in the abdominal area. According to the American Association of Dermatology, 90% of women will get stretch marks during pregnancy. If you have twins, triplets or more, you are more likely to get an increased amount.
Stretch marks can appear when people lose or gain a considerable amount of weight. Changes in height such as growth spurts can contribute to that. Any adrenal gland disorder can cause stretch marks as this, as mentioned before, is the main part of your body producing cortisone.
Preventing Stretch Marks on Your Skin
Although we can’t predict when or where we might get them, we can take a few precautionary steps to help try and prevent stretch marks from appearing.
Keeping your weight in a healthy range prevents your skin from stretching or pulling. Eating well and exercising on a regular basis is good for your health, and prevents sudden weight gain or loss. During pregnancy, many doctors will recommend the use of a stretch mark crème and a regular moisturizer. Even if you’re not pregnant or planning to be, the use of these crèmes may help take preventative measure. Lastly, aside from the many other health benefits water provides, preventing marks on your skin may be one of them.