Stretch marks are not a form of a disease condition. They are just scars formed as a result of the contraction and expansion of skin. Stretch marks causes and emergence vary and depend on the type of skin.
Under normal condition, as your body grows the strong connective tissues in the dermis stretches slowly but when your body experiences rapid growth, the tissues become overstretched and break.
The following are the possible stretch marks causes:
- The physical stretching of the skin at the end of pregnancy due to Maternal BMI at delivery
- Unusual weight gain, particularly on the arms, thighs and so on.
- Use of specific medications which includes lotions, pills, Corticosteroid creams, and steroids.
- Adrenal gland diseases, Cushing’s syndrome, and Ehlers-Danlos syndrome
- Genetic factors
- Muscle building
- Hormonal changes during teenage years
- Hereditary factors
- Pre-pregnancy body mass index
- Gestational age at delivery
- Birth weight of the baby
- Alcohol consumption
- Water intake
- Family history
A few of these stretch marks causes have been discussed in details below:
Pregnancy is one of the major stretch marks causes. Stretch marks during pregnancy frequently occur during the later stages of pregnancy; their occurrence depends mainly on the type of skin and how elastic the woman’s skin is.
Hormonal changes during pregnancy results to the softening of the pelvic ligaments which boost their flexibility. Hormones as well lead to the softening of skin tissues resulting in a heightened risk of suffering from stretch marks.
Stretch marks occur on the tummy of the woman as the baby grows and occasionally around the thighs and breasts.
Puberty and the teenage years
The human body goes through some sort of rapid growth spurts during the teenage years and this can result in the formation of stretch marks. In males, stretch marks commonly arise on the shoulders and back, while females typically develop stretch marks on the hips, thighs, and breasts.
Rapid weight gain
Stretch marks may as well develop if a person rapidly gains weight like when bodybuilders and athletes significantly boost the muscle mass within a short period of time.
A few medical conditions can result to stretch marks. Some of these health conditions are Cushing’s syndrome and Marfan syndrome. Marfan syndrome is a genetic condition that results in the weakening and the reduction of the elasticity of the body tissues.
Cushing’s syndrome can result to stretch marks due to the fact that it leads to excessive formation of cortisol which is the stress hormone. This can result in rapid weight gain, particularly in the tummy area. It as well makes the skin fragile, thin and more prone to bruises, scarring, and infection. Cushing’s syndrome is most commonly experienced by women than men but can be effectively treated in the majority of cases.
Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS) is an uncommon inherited health condition. It upsets the integrity of structural proteins in the skin which can as well result to stretch marks.
Extended use or inappropriate use of corticosteroid creams and lotions during treatment of skin conditions like eczema can lead to the formation of stretch marks. Corticosteroid creams stretch marks causes do this by lessening the levels of collagen in the skin and thinning it.
The later stages of stretch marks characterized by collagen loss are the type of scar characterized by a loss of collagen.
This major structural protein is present all over the body and offer strength and cushioning to the different parts of the body including the skin and elastic tissues in the dermis.
There is a tendency for stretch marks to form and become severe where there are high levels of circulating cortisone or where cortisone is used as a medication.
The stress hormone cortisol, which is manufactured in the adrenal glands, is transformed into cortisone, which makes the elastic fibers in the skin weaker. The presence of cortisone is thus one of the major stretch marks causes on the skin.