While most people don’t like the sight of stretch marks on their skin, they may have to deal with it at some point in time. Stretch marks are a type of scar that develops when your skin expands or shrinks rapidly. They are more common in pregnant women, but can also appear during periods of rapid weight gain or loss as well. The abrupt change in weight ruptures the proteins present in the skin – collagen and elastin – that support the skin.
In this post, we take a look at some interesting facts on stretch marks and how to get rid of stretch marks.
1. Men Can Get Stretch Marks
Stretch marks are not just a cosmetic concern for women, but men also get them. They develop when the elastin fibers under the skin break due to the rapid stretching of the skin. Men can get stretch marks during puberty due to rapid growth spurts or after experiencing sudden weight loss or gain.
2. You Can Get Them Anywhere on the Body
Due to the widely believed myth that stretch marks can only occur during pregnancy, people also think these marks are only present on the belly. This is far from reality. Stretch marks can appear anywhere on the body but they are commonly found in the fatty areas, such as the belly, underarms, upper arms, breasts, thighs, and hips.
3. Your Genetics May Play a Role
Genetics may be a contributory factor for stretch marks. If your mother or father had them, there is a good chance that you will too. While most women develop them during pregnancy, many other women, as well as men, can have them during any other point in life.
4. Your Skin Color Determines Their Appearance
The appearance of stretch marks can vary, according to skin color. If you are fair-skinned, your stretch marks will most likely be pink or red. On darker skin tone, stretch marks appear lighter than the surrounding skin.
The marks first appear as pink or purple because the blood vessels underneath the skin get ruptured due to all the skin pulling.
5. They Can Fade With Time and Proper Care
If you’re wondering about how to get rid of stretch marks, there is some good news. Over time, your stretch marks can fade if you take care of your skin. This includes using good quality stretch mark removal creams and regularly massaging the affected area.
Stretch marks, medically known as striae distensae, are a common skin condition that often surprises people with some lesser-known facts. For instance, while they are typically associated with pregnancy, rapid weight gain, or growth spurts, genetics play a significant role in their development. Research indicates that if your parents had stretch marks, you're more likely to develop them as well.
Moreover, stretch marks are not just a concern for women; men are equally susceptible, especially those who experience rapid muscle growth from weightlifting or undergo significant weight fluctuations. Another intriguing fact is that stretch marks are not actually caused by the skin stretching. Instead, they occur due to hormonal changes that affect the skin's elasticity.
During times of hormonal fluctuation, like puberty, pregnancy, or rapid weight change, increased cortisone levels in the body can reduce the skin's pliability, making it more prone to tearing at a microscopic level, which eventually leads to the formation of stretch marks.
Interestingly, the color and appearance of stretch marks can vary depending on several factors, including the duration they have been on the skin and one's skin tone. New stretch marks typically appear reddish or purple due to blood vessels showing through the tears in the dermis. Over time, they fade to a white or silver color as the blood vessels contract.
The texture of stretch marks is also noteworthy; they often start off slightly raised and can be itchy or sensitive. As they mature, they tend to sink below the skin level and become less noticeable. While numerous creams and treatments claim to eliminate stretch marks, there is no definitive cure.
Most treatments, like laser therapy and topical retinoids, aim to reduce their appearance rather than completely remove them. This underlines the importance of understanding and accepting stretch marks as a natural part of many people's skin journeys, emphasizing the need for realistic expectations when seeking treatment.
Here’s the best stretch mark removal cream that can effectively reduce the appearance of your stretch marks while keeping your skin soft and nourished. It’s also completely safe for use during pregnancy.
We would love to hear about your experience with stretch marks. Connect with us in the comments section below.
Jennifer Valdino is a Facialist and Skincare Expert. She frequently shares her general approach to caring for your skin through many public speeches. Jennifer truly understands how confidence having a bad skin can be, and she’s passionate about sharing her knowledge for tackling it. She knows first-hand how skin is so intrinsically linked to confidence as well as the best science-backed method to handle it.