Do you know someone who has been pregnant, perhaps more than once, but doesn’t have any stretch marks? Approximately 75 to 90 percent of women do develop stretch marks during pregnancy but what about those who don’t? Why aren’t those women as susceptible?
What exactly are stretch marks?
Stretch marks occur when the middle layer of the skin called the dermis is stretched and the elastic fibers are damaged and tear. Inflammation occurs, capillaries become dilated and scar tissue forms as the injury heals. The scar tissue is what we see as stretch marks and can appear different in different areas of the body. Some stretch marks are thin and pink others are reddish and thicker.
Stretch marks frequently occur during times of rapid growth such as during puberty, during pregnancy or with other episodes of sudden weight gain. Some people have noticed stretch marks after starting a program of weight lifting.
Back to the question of why some women get them and others don’t. It is not because of their daily use of cocoa butter. Rather, genetics and hormone surges play an important role. The tendency towards getting stretch marks is in your genes. If your mother didn’t seem to get them, than you probably won’t either.
Additionally, hormone fluctuations play an added factor. Cortisone type hormones can affect the formation of collagen and elastic fibers, which are involved in allowing the skin to stretch. People who have taken cortisone for prolonged periods of time or those who produce too much cortisol in their body such as in Cushing’s syndrome often develop stretch marks for this reason.
Stretch marks do fade over time but most of us are less than patient to wait. Lotions and creams do not really help though massaging them in does help blood circulation.
According to the Mayo Clinic's website, retinoin cream or Retin-A has been found to improve the appearance of recent stretch marks. Trentioin helps rebuild collagen to repair the damaged skin tissue.
Pulsed dye laser therapy stimulates growth of collagen and elastin and works best on stretch marks that are new.