Stretch marks are caused by small, microscopic tears created in the deeper layers of skin that produce scar tissue and discoloration on the top layers of the skin. The severity of stretch marks usually depends on how deep the tears are; the deeper the tear the more severe the stretch mark will be, while tears closer to the surface of the skin are considered to be minor. The coloration of stretch marks is solely dependent on your skin tone – with darker skin tones stretch marks will appear to be white, while with lighter skin tones stretch marks will appear to be red/pink.
While all stretch marks are caused by small deep tissue tears, not all the tears are caused the same way. In fact there are very many causes to the tears that form stretch marks. Rapid weight loss or gain is the most common cause of these tears due to the stress that’s put on the skin when weight is rapidly changed. Weight change also requires skin change – the skin needs to adapt to the now smaller/bigger area, and while the skin is fully capable of doing so it will tear and damage if it’s forced to do so too quickly. A healthy amount of weight change is 1lb of mass a week; any more than that and there’s a significant risk of stretch marks occurring.
Stretch marks can also be caused by poor nutrition. Poor nutrition has many unhealthy effects on the body, and decreased skin elasticity as well as decreased collagen production, are two of the big ones that can potentially cause stretch marks. When a skin’s elasticity is reduced more stress is put on the skin as it is changed. If the elasticity is reduced enough regular everyday activities can cause enough tension on the skin to create the micro-tears that cause stretch marks. The reduced collagen levels also caused by poor nutrition decrease the skin’s ability to heal and cope with stress, which also makes it very prone to stretch marks.
Activities which cause skin irritation and damage are also a very big reason why people get stretch marks. Sun tanning for example reduces the skin’s elasticity significantly and if done excessively can leave leathery, inelastic skin that’s unable to handle any kind of stress and forms stretch marks very easily. Applying harsh creams and lotions to certain areas in an attempt to enhance the skin’s appearance can also cause stretch marks – skin irritation in any form, whether it’s from a cream or not makes the skin dry, unhealthy, and very prone to damage. Using natural, non-irritating creams and lotions which moisturize and rejuvenate the skin, fixing its flaws rather than just covering the flaws and causing irritation will help tremendously in avoiding stretch marks.
While each specific case of stretch marks is specific to the person the main cause of stretch marks can me generalized as unhealthy improper skin care. When skin isn’t kept up with and kept healthy the small stretch-mark causing tears form very easily and stretch marks begin to appear.
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