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stretch marks on legsStretch marks can have a big impact on your daily life. The indented streaks on your body occur predominantly on the back, upper legs, buttocks and abdomen and affect women, men and children. With over 70% of teenage girls affected and 40% of teenage boys it’s an issue that’s impacting a large proportion of the population.

Stretch marks can be alarming for anyone affected by them, especially if they occur suddenly. Despite very rarely having health risks they can lower self confidence and make people body conscious.

Causes of Stretch Marks

Stretch marks can occur in any body type, male or female. There are a number of factors that influence whether you’ll get stretch marks:

● Genetics

The qualities of your skin and health will impact your stretch marks. Those with healthier, well maintained skin that retains it’s elasticity will be less prone to stretch marks. Those with paler skin are much more likely to affected than those with dark skin.

● Hormone production

Increased levels of hormones like cortisone can weaken the elasticated fibres in your skin tissue, making stretch marks a lot more likely.

● Weight Gain

Rapid weight gain is one of the leading causes of stretch marks. The quick change in your body doesn’t allow the skin to catch up, therefore making it stretch more than it is made to do so.

● Pregnancy

In a similar way to weight gain your body changes shape rapidly and is put under various strains. You’ll see stretch marks in over 80% of women, and it’s very common in pregnancies.

● Body Building/Training

stretch mark removal creamsIf you’re training hard in the gym, especially with weights you can see quick results. If your body grows too quickly and is put under too much straight you can see stretch marks appear, specifically in the legs and underarm areas.

There are a variety of reasons that stretch marks can occur, generally they are just related to body changes. If you see stretch marks and you’re unsure of the cause, or just want to be sure, then consult your dermatologist as they will be able to give the most information.

So what exactly happens to cause stretching?
Stretch marks occur because your skin is trying to keep up with your body. As it isn’t able to it stretches to do the job, when it is overstretched it weakens the proteins and collagen in the tissue. The blood vessels in this thin skin layers is exposed and becomes damaged, this leads to the streaks in your skin.

Are there are any treatments?
There are a wide variety of treatments available, both medicated and home remedies. There are debates about the effectiveness of each, for the most reliable information contact a skin care professional who will be able to advise you on the best possible route to take.