What are stretch marks?
Stretch marks are fine lines that can show up on your stomach, breasts, butt, hips, thighs and arms. These rippled marks are also called striae. They aren`t harmful to your health. First stretch marks may show up as reddish or purplish lines that can look indented and have a different texture from the skin around them. Stretch marks often turn lighter and almost disappear over time.
What causes stretch marks?
Stretch marks appear on the outer layer of your skin. Stretch marks form at the dermal level after connective tissue is stretched beyond its elastic limits when the skin is rapidly expanded or contracted from sudden weight loss or gain.
When the skin is stretched too far in any direction too quickly it causes tears and skin below the surface level may show through. While it’s true that everyone’s body experiences changes in size/weight – up and down – as they go through the normal aging process, it’s only rapid changes that cause stretch marks. The skin has amazingly strong fibers, but their elasticity does have limits and can be stretched too far and break.
The initial red or purple hue of stretch marks fades over time because blood vessels eventually contract and the pale fat beneath the skin becomes visible.
Reasons for stretch marks:
Who gets stretch marks?
It’s very common for teen girls (breasts, thighs, hips, or buttocks) and boys (lower backs or hips) to get stretch marks during growth spurts.