Stretch marks (striae
) are small scarring or stripes
on the skin that result from the rupture of elastic fibers of the epidermis (outer layer of the skin that ensures
its protection function) as a result of excessive stretching or hormonal change. The abnormality concerns mainly
those who grow rapidly or who have suffered a sudden weight gain, pregnant women for example. In most cases,
stretch marks appear on the breasts, belly, hips, inner thighs, buttocks, as well as growth areas, such as the
shoulders (mostly the athletes). Although stretch marks affect people of any race, it seems that white skin women
are most affected.
Although adolescents may be affected (in about 10% of cases), stretch marks occur most often in pregnant women.
Among teens, stretch marks are often the result of obesity and a slightly higher rate of cortisol
(also known as
is a hormone secreted naturally by the body but can be increased by taking certain medications) in the blood.
During pregnancy, stretch marks begin to develop from the fourth month until the sixth month in the majority of
pregnant women. In some women, stretch marks can appear at first pregnancy; this is caused by the distension of the
abdomen skin due to the fetal growth.
Stretch marks Causes