Stretch Marks: What are Stretch Marks, Causes and Signs

Stretch marks are the off-coloured stripes or streaks formed on the skin as a result of weight changes, hormonal changes related to pregnancy, puberty, hormone replacement therapy, pregnancy, obesity etc. In dermatology and commonly, they are termed as Stretch marks. Stretch marks can be commonly seen around  waist, thighs, lower backs, hips, breasts, arms, and buttocks area.
How are these stretch marks formed? Human body skin consists of three main layers:

  • The outer layer, Epidermis
  • The middle layer, Dermis
  • The deepest and third layer, Hypodermic

As the connective tissue is stretched when skin is expanding  and contracting, the stretch marks start developing on the middle layer or the dermis. With the stretch in skin, the collagen gets weak, and the elastic fibers start to tear. Due to this, regeneration cycle gets interrupted. This results in the formation of scars under on the top layer of the skin or the epidermis. The color of this scar is red or pink, but gradually, they turned into thin silvery line.

Causes of Stretch Marks

It is not a disease in any kind, they are just scars created by extreme expansion and contraction if human skin. Or in simple terms stretch marks is caused by rapid skin stretching. The Appearance of stretch marks mainly depends on the type of skin and they are mainly caused by:

  • Stretching of the skin during and at the end of pregnancy.
  • Rapid weight gain or weight loss.
  • Use of certain medications.
  • Adrenal gland diseases.
  • Cushing’s syndrome.
  • Ehlers-Danlos syndrome.
  • Genetic disorders.
  • Muscle building
  • Hormonal changes during puberty or pregnancy.


What are the signs of stretch marks?

No one wants to have stretch marks on their skin. Stretch marks or stretch marks commonly appear on that part of the body where are large fat deposits. Symptoms that will help you to recognize the development of stretch marks are:

  • Skin is turning pink.
  • Appearance of red, pings or purple lines
  • The affected area becomes soft in touch.
  • With time these lines change color into silver or white.
  • In the initial phase, these lines appear wrinkly and somewhat raised.
  • They may also appear in patches of parallel lines.
  • They appear as a scar.

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