Having spent the past several years researching and treating my own stretch marks, I have become somewhat of a de facto expert with regards to these unwanted little lines and lesions on the body.
That is why I started this blog… To help others on their journey to understanding them better but more importantly, how to get rid of them with certain treatments and techniques.
However I realize that most of my posts are over 1500 words long. Great for some people and not so much for others. Many people simply want to get the short and sweet answers to their questions relating to their skin blemishes and do not want to read through lengthy articles on each specific topic.
If you can relate to this, then today’s post is for you!
The following is a set of the most common questions I get asked relating to stretch marks. Do let me know of any others you may have and I’d be more than happy to add them here:
1. Are Stretch Marks Common?
Yes, very common. Especially for women. It has been shown that up to 70% of females will experience lines on their bodies to some degree throughout their lives. This number rising to 90% for those who have gone through child birth.
For men they are a little less prevalent with the figures around 50%-60%. This means that roughly 5 or 6 out of every 10 males will experience them to some level also. So still reasonably common among the lads!
2. Where Do Stretch Marks Appear and Form?
Anywhere the skin is unable to adapt quick enough to excessive growth. Apart from the palms of the hands and soles of the feet (which are much more robust & rigid surfaces), the bodies skin type remains the same for the most part, meaning any area is susceptible to stretch marks theoretically.
For females, they will form most commonly be on the breasts, buttocks, hips and thighs (area’s which typically hold excess weight distribution). Also on the stomach/abdomen during child birth for obvious reasons. For males, these marks more commonly form on the lower back, arms, chest and shoulders from working out.
3. Are Stretch Marks Natural/Normal?
Yes, very much so. Discolored furrows will appear on any area of the skin which is exposed to excessive stretching, past its naturally ability to grow and adapt to the expansion.
They are simply the bodies natural mechanism to deal with rapid size increases which is either due to growth spurts, body building, pregnancy or typical weight gain in general.
4. Are Stretch Marks Permanent?
Yes and no. For the majority of individuals the lines they accumulate over the years will never completely disappear. It is very possible to fade lesions on the body so that they appear almost non-existent, however getting rid of them completely can be difficult to do.
This almost certainly requires some form of surgical or invasive treatment such as microdermabrasion, collagen re-modelling or laser therapy. You must consult with your local doctor or plastic surgeon to explore which avenue best suits your situation.
5. Are Stretch Marks Scar Tissue?
They are considered minor skin scars in an anatomical sense. which is why they are semi permanent in nature (unless treated with some form of medical procedure – see above).
Rupturing of the collagen and elastin fibers within the dermis (middle layer) of the skin due to excessive stretching, does cause structural damage and will locally diminish the integrity of the skin. This will result in reddish or purplish lines to begin with, which become more translucent over time as repair work is done. It’s only then do they constitute scar tissue.
6. Are Stretch Marks Genetic?
Some people are definitely more prone to getting them due to their hereditary make-up. However it’s difficult to determine exactly just how much genetics play a role in developing them. It’s certainly a combination of factors, but your genes absolutely contribute. Alongside hormonal changes during puberty, as well as size increases through weight gain and pregnancy for instance.
If you notice your parents or siblings have prominent marks on their bodies, its safe to say that there is a high likelihood that you may develop them at some stage also.
7. Are Stretch Marks Good Or Bad?
Neither. This is a matter of perspective. They certainly aren’t dangerous or a concern from a medical and health standpoint. However they are not aesthetically pleasing to most people.
Ultimately you have to find a way to feel comfortable in your own skin, however it may look. That’s not to say you can’t work at reducing the appearance of any skin blemishes you may have to help increase confidence in the mean time.
8. Are Stretch Marks Itchy?
Not from my experience. I also haven’t heard of anybody else proclaiming that the marks on their body made them itch or cause any other form of irritation such as a rash etc. I imagine there is somebody out there somewhere who might have experienced this, but its certainly the exception as opposed to the norm.
Any good skin care treatment and protocol such as the natural compounds and topical creams will eradicate any slight discomfort if you ever were to experience it.
9. Are Stretch Marks Ugly/Unattractive?
Again, this is a matter of personal perspective. For me they are just a part and parcel of life, especially if you plan on having children. Some women cherish the battle scars they obtained during pregnancy. Others despise them immensely.
It’s about finding a balance between being comfortable with you body and taking consistent action in treating and fading any marks on your skin, if that’s the path you decide to take.
10. Will Stretch Marks Cause Loose Skin?
No. Excessive weight gain followed by significant weight loss will produce loose and sagging skin. The lines formed on the body during the growing phase will certainly appear more prominent once the size is lost, as the striae will appear to be closer together. However they will not be the cause of loose skin.
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