Home / What is a stretchmark? What causes stretchmarks?

What is a stretchmark? What causes stretchmarks?

Eliminate Stretchmarks: Conditioning for Elastin and Collagen
in the Skin

What are Stretch Marks?

Stretch marks, medically known as “striae gravidarum,” are caused by excessive stretching of the
skin.

Pregnancy, rapid weight gain or loss and puberty, are the usual causes of stretch marks. Almost half of all
expectant women and many teenagers will acquire stretch marks.

Pregnant women start to develop stretch marks on the abdomen during the second half of pregnancy as the skin
stretches to accommodate the growing baby. However, besides the abdomen, they commonly occur on the hips,
breasts and buttocks due to either gaining or losing weight in these areas.

Depending on your skin color, stretch marks start out as pink, reddish brown, or dark brown streaks. The reddish-brown
pigmentation in the stretch marks gradually fades, and the marks or “striae” begin to look like
glistening silvery lines of scar tissue.

A common misconception about what causes stretch marks exists. Because they happen a lot during pregnancy
or when people are overweight, many assume that stretch marks are literally caused by skin stretching. Although
it is technically true that stretch marks appear because the skin is stretching more than it can stretch
without causing stretchmarks, the reason the skin struggles with stretching is due to a loss of elastin and
collagen in the skin.

The Life of a Stretch Mark

  • First, the skin is stretched more than the skin can handle and remain in tact.
  • Next, the tissues underneath your top layer of skin actually tear
  • After this, your body’s natural defense mechanisms begin to create scar tissue at the tear
  • At this point you see what we call a stretch mark

More information on this can be found in our free online health magazine.