Stretch marks are skin imperfections that may affect teenagers, women and men at any age. The stretch marks occur due to a number of causes, and being aware of these causes can help identify the risk factors for developing stretch marks.
Sudden Growth and Weight Gain
Sudden growth and weight gain are not beneficial for the skin, as these occurrences will make the skin stretch. It may not have the needed collagen and elasticity, so skin tearing is to be expected. The amount of weight gained that could cause stretch marks depends on the skin of each patient in part. Older people, having a lower concentration of collagen and skin that is less elastic, can be more prone to developing stretch marks.
If the patient is in the growth process or cannot prevent the weight gain, she should get some creams or lotions that are rich in collagen stimulating substances, such as the coenzyme Q10, which can prevent the occurrence of stretch marks. Massage sessions may also be recommended to facilitate the stretching of the skin without the occurrence of stretch marks.
Pregnancy and Hormonal Changes
A pregnant woman is going through various hormonal changes and has a more intensive hormonal activity, which will contribute to the development of stretch marks. The hormonal activity, paired with the fact that the patient will surely experience skin stretching in the abdominal area, will result in stretch marks. During pregnancy, the patient will be advised to use rich moisturizing creams that will keep the skin hydrated and possibly prevent the appearance of stretch marks. Certain hormonal imbalances caused by a different health issues (i.e. hyperthyroidism) may also facilitate the occurrence of stretch marks.
A patient with dry skin is more prone to stretch marks, as the skin is less hydrated and is less elastic. Consequently, a person with dry skin can form stretch marks more easily, even due to an insignificant weight gain.
The diet influences directly the quality of the skin and its elasticity. A diet that lacks the necessary vitamins and minerals will result in dry skin that lacks elasticity.
The patient should talk to a nutritionist to establish the right amount of fats, proteins and fibers that are necessary for healthy skin. Water intake is also essential, as the human body and the skin are made up in a high percentage of water.
A number of medication treatments can cause stretch marks. Steroids and corticosteroids administered for a long time will lead to the formation of stretch marks. There are also other medications that cause weight gain or fluid retention (i.e. corticosteroids), which can result in the stretching of skin and possibly stretch marks.
Certain patients are more likely to have stretch marks due to their genetic predisposition. If the parents or grandparents of the patient have stretch marks, the patient will probably develop stretch marks as well.