The Dreaded Stretch Marks: What Causes Them?

Almost everyone, especially women, dread stretch marks. What are they exactly? Stretch marks can look different on everyone, but there is usually no mistaking what they are. They are lines on your skin that are a different color than your normal skin tone, either lighter or darker. They can range from a light gray to a deep purple. When they are newly formed they can cause irritation or itchiness and feel like an indentation on the skin. Commonly, stretch marks are associated only with pregnant women, but this is far from the truth. Here are some of the other causes of stretch marks.

Gaining weight is one of the most common reasons that people get stretch marks. One of the main reasons this happens is when people gain weight at a very rapid pace. The skin cannot keep up with the expansion, much like in pregnancy. The elastin and collagen expanding are what cause the marks to show. If you plan on gaining weight for any reason, you should consult with a doctor about a healthy rate of weight gain and come up with a diet plan that will not put your body or skin into shock. This also applies to men who are beginning a bodybuilding regiment, as they are at risk for stretch marks for the same reason. Any rapid stretching of the skin may cause unsightly marks.

Hormonal changes are also a culprit in causing stretch marks, unfortunately for teenagers. Growth spurts during puberty trigger hormonal changes that can cause stretch marks on the backs of the legs, buttocks, and middle of the back especially in males since they tend to reach their adult height in a very short time. Along with these stretch marks and growth spurts can come some mild pain, so ibuprofen can help to alleviate those symptoms.

Like countless other health conditions, whether or not you will get stretch marks also can depend on your genetics. If your mother did not have any during her pregnancy, you may not either. This is not a guarantee, but it does help when choosing some of the preventative or treatment measures your doctor may suggest for you. You may also find the best stretch mark cream reviews at