The causes of stretch marks and their common remedies.
Stretch marks are an extremely common skin condition. Although it primarily affects women, men get it too. When you think about stretch marks, what is the thing that is most likely to come to your mind? It may very well be pregnancy. It is true that pregnancy is the most common cause of stretch marks, it usually causes them to appear on the breasts and belly. The medical term for stretch marks is “striae.” While pregnancy may be the number one cause of stretch marks, it is important to remember that just about anyone can get it, even children. If you want to learn more about stretch marks, the causes they appear on the skin and maybe some necessary precautions you can take against the condition, the following may be of interest to you.
It is a type of scar
A stretch mark is a type of scar that is the effect of skin being injured and repairing itself. This type of scar, the ones that appear from stretch marks, is usually the result of skin being stretched or shrinking too quickly. This type of stretching and shrinking makes the protein in the skin to break down. It essentially breaks down collagen and elastin. After this has happened, the skin will try to repair itself. When undergoing the repair process it is usually when stretch marks appear. Stretch marks feel like there is a slight indentation upon touch. Scars that occur on top of the skin will feel like a bump to the touch. Stretch marks, on the other hand, occur below the top layer of the skin and hence it feels like an indentation.
Their appearance can vary
Stretch marks do not all look the same. It varies from one person to the next. Some of the people afflicted with this condition will get a few long and thin lines. Other people get stretch marks that appear together in bunches. The lines of the latter type of stretch marks can also be thick and angry looking. People with lighter skin will get stretch marks that are generally reddish and or purple in the beginning until they fade with time and become white or silvery. The people with darker skin, on the other hand, will get stretch marks that are almost always lighter than their normal skin color.
Pregnancy is the most common cause
There is a special kind of name for stretch marks that are caused by pregnancy. It is known as striae gravidarum. Pregnancy is the most common factor in developing stretch marks. When a woman is pregnant, the abdomen of the woman grows in order to accommodate the fetus that is growing inside of her. As a result of this growth, the skin stretches. The same phenomenon happens to the person’s breasts as well during pregnancy. The breasts are then in the preparation phase for producing milk. Some other parts of the body can also develop stretch marks when the person is going through pregnancy. These areas include areas such as hips, butts, lower back and thighs. A few studies suggest that the hormones present during and because of pregnancy makes the skin a lot more vulnerable to tearing. This results in stretch marks.
Growth Spurts in Teens
The rate at which children grow is quite honestly, astounding. It is quite an impressive feat. They are constantly outgrowing their clothes much to the dismay of the parents who have to bear the financial burden of this growth. Once infancy has passed, the most significant and dramatic burst of growth happens during puberty. These bursts of growth can cause stretch marks to appear when the skin gets stretched a bit too fast. The same phenomenon can happen when a person gains or loses a significant amount of weight in a specific short period of time. This type of rapid growth or shrinkage means that the skin of the person also has to stretch to accommodate the body growing. This causes stretch marks. This is why bodybuilders get stretch marks. When they are training really hard, their bodies can change extremely fast and it changes quite fast again if they stop. It should also be mentioned here that genetics and the type of skin a person has, also has a role in determining whether a person will develop stretch marks or not.
Consider Light Therapy for Stretch Marks
As we have already discussed above, stretch marks are essentially just tears of the skin. Whenever there is growing too fast, stretch marks appear. In time, they may become less visible but their presence will always be felt once they start to appear.
Although there haven’t been too many studies that look into the specifics of red light therapy on stretch marks, a lot of people do provide anecdotal evidence that the process works. The science behind their logic is very fail-safe. Red light therapy helps to speed up the healing processes of wounds. It basically gets tissue that has been stagnant for a while to be active once more at the cellular level. There is some understanding that light therapy works better on fresh stretch marks than on the types that have been healing for a bit.
The science also suggests that in order for this therapy model to be effective, the process needs to be repeated quite a few times to be truly effective. In general, the anecdotal evidence also suggests that this type of therapy will be really effective only if it is done for about six months with about 5 to 7 sessions per week.
Although there are not any proven ways to get completely rid of stretch marks, the light therapy mentioned in this article can really help with making them much less visible. It is also important to note here that stretch marks are not harmful in almost all cases. Very rarely is it an important medical concern?