Stretch marks may take time to appear, but they sure seem to develop overnight. Who hasn’t looked in the mirror one morning to discover a sudden onset of red, angry skin struck with the scar-like appearance of a new stretch mark? Once stretch marks appear, they can be particularly tricky to get rid of – so it’s best to stop them in their tracks rather than waiting for them to appear over the years. When you know what leads to new stretch marks, you can work on prevention before they become a permanent part of your body.
According to Symptom Find, stretch marks look like scars because that’s exactly what they are. Officially, they’re known to the medical community as striae, or scars that striate various areas of skin all over the body. Most commonly found around the stomach, upon the thighs and hips, and even over the lower back, stretch marks first appear as deep red marks caused by extensive stretching or tearing of the skin. Though they eventually fade in color and can become less noticeable, little can hide these layers-deep tears. Whenever your body undergoes a drastic change in size, stretch marks are possible, particularly in the following situations.
A Great Increase in Weight
Whether you’ve experienced one pregnancy or multiple, or perhaps recently gained a significant amount of weight for other reasons, stretch marks are highly likely to appear. Gaining a lot of weight very quickly puts great strain on your skin, and cause tearing that can result in those unappealing scars. Try to prevent rapid and dramatic weight gains, and allow your body to adjust as it changes or grows.
A Sudden Growth Spurt
Did you feel the aches and pains of growth spurts in your younger years? Middle school kids and teenagers undergo very rapid periods of growth, not just in weight but in the length of their limbs and reshaping of various body parts. Just like times of pregnancy and sudden weight gain, any dramatic change in the body may lead the skin to tear and scar.
Lifting Heavy Weights
Wondering why a swath of stretch marks has broken out across your shoulders or upper arms? You’re probably lifting way too much weight each time you hit the gym. Weightlifters often experience stretch marks even if no physical body weight is gained; by quickly increasing muscle mass in certain areas, you’re pushing your skin to its limits internally. As your muscles grow, they press against the dermis and can lead to inner breaks.
Keep in mind that any significant change in your body may be a stretch mark culprit. Whenever you experience quick changes in size in any area, any body part, your body must adapt – and whenever your skin cannot adjust over time, it splits in an effort to keep your body together.