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Are Stretch Marks Haunting You?


Stretch Marks
Photo Courtesy of Melting Mama

“Striae Gravidarum” or Stretch Marks are nothing but areas of the skin that have been stretched out. It usually happens due to unusual weight gain or weight loss and depending upon the skin’s elasticity, it may leave a mark on the skin. Usually stretch marks are seen as fine lines on the body and are purplish or reddish in color in the early stages and then become hypo pigmented or colorless on maturity. As a result they start looking like glistening lines of scar tissue.

Stretch Marks are the most common type of skin lesion and are often known by medical names Striae Atrophicans, Striae Distensae, Striae Alba and Striae Rubra. Fortunately, stretch marks do not cause any medical problems but do raise cosmetic concerns for some of the individuals.

There are three different layers to the human skin. First there is the epidermis layer, more commonly known as the outer layer. Then there is the dermis layer or the layer in the middle, and lastly there is the deep layer that is called the subcutaneous stratum. The middle layer of the skin is what helps our skin to have elasticity and shape. This layer of the skin is where stretch marks occur. When someone gains weight, develops a lot of muscle mass, or even becomes pregnant, the middle layer of the skin will stay stretched and relaxed longer. This is unfortunately what causes stretch marks – where the skin loses its elasticity and connective fibers are broken.

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These marks are completely harmless to our body and are more of a cosmetic or beauty concern then a health issue. They can occur anywhere on our body but are most commonly developed on the thighs, breasts, arms, buttocks and stomach. Stretch marks are likely to occur in men and women of all the age groups.

People who are constantly on diets such as bodybuilders usually have the problem of stretch marks due to drastic fluctuations in the body weight. The safe way to weight loss is to lose it at a slow rate. The risk of stretch marks is lowered if an individual were to let his or her skin and body adjust to the weight loss.

These days a lot of people go to extremes in order to lose weight. But once the drastic weight loss goals are achieved, they are shocked by the marks that appear on the skin. Whether these stretch marks appear due to pregnancy or weight loss, there is a solution to prevent or reduce the unsightly stretch marks. These days a lot of creams are available on the market, which can help you to reduce or prevent the stretch marks. Stretch mark creams work for some people but not for others. That is a topic we will discuss next time.

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About the Author

Hi, my name is Amy. And I'm a fatty. I am 23 years old. I go to USF and I have an 8 month puppy. I am going to school to be a physcian. I have read so much about healthy lifestyles in all my health classes and I can't help but think that I am one of those people. Well, I have decided that my lifestyle has to change and I have to get healthier for myself. I am better than fat. And I am ready to take this journey. Wish me luck.

Community Thoughts (36)

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  1. JohnNo Gravatar says:

    “The risk of stretch marks is lowered if an individual were to let his or her skin and body adjust to the weight loss.”

    Which makes them a good indicator. If you are developing these kind of marks perhaps your weight loss is too sudden and you need to slow down and up your caloric intake.

  2. ChristinaNo Gravatar says:

    Stretch marks aren’t a big concern for me because I believe they fade with age and some actually do leave. What concerns me is the excess skin I see on the programs where they show huge weight loss. That’s scary to me. I really don’t want to have wings under my arms or folds of skin down the front of me!

  3. What about the stretch marks without any coloration? In high school I beefed from a meager 150lbs at 6’0″ to a meaty 220lbs in 5 months time due to food consumption and power-lifting for football…needless to say, that season was awesome. But I lost 30lbs after the season and have maintained that to about 195lbs now at 6’2″ of healthy weight…I had stretch marks on and around my butt for 2 years after that…it sucked! I used some cellulite cream and it sorta kinda worked; but the main thing for me was just time and TONS of water. After maintaining a health weight now for 3 years and drinking lots of water on a daily basis, the marks are virtually non-existent. Any thoughts or similar experiences?

    • Israel LagaresNo Gravatar says:

      Sort of the same thing happened here. I had some from my earlier years that faded away, but now I have newer ones that are UGLY.

  4. Coral SnakeNo Gravatar says:

    yes, stretch marks are a terrible thing that can indeed be very haunting not to mention bad for your self confidence

  5. Strong OneNo Gravatar says:

    Granted, we all should of course lose our weight safely and properly, but some individual suffer the stretchmark even when they are losing safely.
    So I wonder what is the lesser of the two evils? Over weight? or Stetchmarks?
    Which would you rather have?
    Great post

  6. Isn’t there a possibility to remove stretch marks with laser?

  7. ViewmeThisNo Gravatar says:

    yea stretch marks scare me – especially if I see it on a beutiful women!

  8. Its a tough call. When you get on a roll and you are working out as hard as you can and you are eating right, the weight can come off pretty quick. I have seen a lot of people get stretch marks when they are on a weight loss program. Sometimes it’s part of losing weight.

  9. RachelNo Gravatar says:

    Stretch marks is nothing compared to leftover skin…..I became pregnant at age 14 with twins. I went from a very slender 94lbs to 198lbs..I am now 113lbs 15 years later, and I still have the very soft unusual lookin stomach. I wish there could be help for someone like me…

  10. What a terrible thing…to be overweight is one thing…it can be taken care of and inspirational to want to get into better shape…but stretch marks? Emotionally damaging; how do you get motivated or recover from that other than cosmetic surgery? Drinking a ton of water helps, but if you don’t lose weight slow and safe, who’s to say the scars will ever recede? Definitely a post that hits home to a lot of people…hence the many comments; thanks Israel.

  11. striaeNo Gravatar says:

    There are actually many stretch mark creams that can be used to prevent stretch marks from occuring whether it is from weight gain/loss , body building, or pregnancy.

  12. botoxNo Gravatar says:

    I agree. I think people’s self confidence suffers more than anything else.

  13. michae;No Gravatar says:

    hmm i stacked on 10 kg and got heaps some on my hips some on my upper arms waiting for them to fade will using Bio Oil that one is supposed to be awesome.

    you can try what i heard once they go white after using bio oil apparentely and i have heard good things even from friends that this bio oil prevents and reduces stretch marks very good. i have gone from 88kg to 81kg atm hopefully when i lose another 5 or 6kg no stretch marks but thats what the bio oil is for.

    oh yeh i heard go to a tanning solon or whatever and tan up that would definely help the white scars!!!

    • Israel LagaresNo Gravatar says:

      Well, almost all stretch marks go white after a while I think. At least on my body. lol. I don’t plan on using any oils or tanning. I will just deal with them and use them as a reminder to never let it happen again.

  14. cosmetynNo Gravatar says:

    Using some stretch mark creams before losing weight can help prevent stretch marks. After they formed, there are also some laser treatments to remove them although they are a bit expensive.

  15. CosmetynNo Gravatar says:

    You don’t always need to buy creams, water works great. As someone above me said. I started to notice a lot of difference once I started to drink water, but if you want faster results then use a stretch mark cream.

  16. stretch marks is something that can haunt you – but you will get used to after awhile.

  17. RyanNo Gravatar says:

    Im a 14 year old male and im overweight and have unfourtanely developed a rather bad number of stretchmarks on my arms, lower chest, arms, armpits and some on my shoulders. And it has severly knocked my self confidence and i just thought i’d share this with you all to see if it helps my confidence in anyway. And it has sort of.

  18. SadieNo Gravatar says:

    I’m 16 and after being pressured over and over by my family and my doctor to start taking the pill I’ve put on nearly 4stone :( I have stretch marks on my arms, thighs, belly, boobs, bum and even my calves.. not in small patches either. the inside and back of my thighs are just covered. I don’t want to wear t-shirts because of my arms, and having them on my calves means I cant even wear a knee length skirt.. they are bright red and some of them get very sore. I’m so angry at myself for letting myself be forced into taking something that could do this to me… now for months or years I’m going to have to deal with this. I have overweight family that don’t even have stretch marks like mine. I don’t feel comfortable with myself at all anymore.

    I hope no one jumps to the conclusion that I was pressured into taking the pill because I was being unsafe. I use condoms as well and would use any extra none hormonal contraception if that doctor would allow. I’ve changed doctor now, shame theres nothing that can be done.

    Just throught I’d share, as I’ve not really voiced my feelings yet.

    • ad.No Gravatar says:

      Sadie….i have the same problem: the calves really get to me! Because I used to love wearing short skirts. They appeared one sad day when i was 12 (18 now) and oddly have never been red. Just annoyingly pale. Which would be great if i wasnt black!!:(
      Currently I feel my bum looks like an atlas…its worse these days because I have a new boyfriend (read: my first) that im nuts over but im sooooooo worried that he won’t be able to accept them…or understand why i will keep point blankedly refusing to go swimming with him!
      I m now steadily losing weight but this time im inundating my skin and body with moisture because there is NO way on earth im getting more stretch marks. They are much easier to prevent tbf.

  19. TomNo Gravatar says:

    Hi, My name’s Tom. I’m 19 and put on about 2/3 stone after i finished school, mainly because of overeating and lack of exersize. I maxed out at 18 stone, but i’m now 16.. Still fat, but not as fat. Anyway, i have stretch marks on my biceps, hips and stomach.. It looks like i’ve been pregnant. I haven’t told my parents about them and don’t even go swimming with family or friends anymore. They’ve killed my self confidence big time.. Anyway, Do you know if they can be tattooed over or if they shrink if i lose more weight? Hoping by posting this to get it off my chest and maybe make me feel a little better.

    Thanks.

    • EvanNo Gravatar says:

      You’re in the same boat as me. Good to know there are other out there that are going through the same thing as me. My main regret is finding a girl friend; I feel completely unlovable and hideous.

      • Don’t think that way Evan. You have to be positive.

      • LeonNo Gravatar says:

        I felt the same way Evan, when I was in my teens, how would I get a girlfreind, the bad thing is my mom and family were and still are very mentaly abusive to me, and always will be. My mother saw the stretchmarks on my lower back and said “how will you ever get a girlfriend”? other people and family members commented on my stretchmarks as well, but my mom and the others except one person didn’t have stretchmarks, most people get them as you go threw life. I got them when I was 16, they do start to look better. eat right, drink water, exercise, try to fade them with stretchmark creams. It turns out I did get a girlfriend, when I turned 19 closer to 20 and she really didn’t care. Infact she had stretchmarks as well. Stay positive

  20. LeonNo Gravatar says:

    I have stretch marks got them at 16 years old. I got them in many areas of my body. Somedays I wake up and look at them and I think they don’t look bad, other days I look at them and I get depressed. I am 30 years old now and over the years they have started to look better, but they probably won’t be going anywhere. I don’t even like taking of my shirt when I am alone. I tried some cheap creams none of them really did anything. The doctor told be a while back really isn’t anything you can do. I willkeep trying creams but the best bet is to get used to them. I guess, I just hope I can fade them best I can.

  21. EricNo Gravatar says:

    I see on the programs where they show huge weight loss. That’s scary to me. I really don’t want to have wings under my arms or folds of skin down the front of me!

  22. SusieNo Gravatar says:

    Stretch marks are a common occurence. And yeah I do agree with you that losing weight too fast can run the risk of getting sretch marks and it can take a while for them to go away even with creams. I don’t think there are many creams out in the market that will remove stretch marks quick but I do know that natural methods like aloe vera gel, food sources containing vitamin A,E and C are good choices.

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