A Quick Understanding of What Causes Stretch Marks
Stretch marks can be a very real and frustrating concern for many women or men who live with them. But the question of what causes stretch marks is an important one to answer before we look at the remedies.
What Causes Stretch Marks?
Very simply understood, the stretching of the skin beyond its capacity to do so at a given time are what causes stretch marks. Body changes such as pregnancy, puberty and increase in weight are responsible for these marks, and the most common of these causes is the first one. A woman's belly will suddenly grow very large within nine months, requiring the skin to stretch several inches, while it is unable to produce the collagen it needs to do this stretching. Stretch marks then form on the lower abdomen and the sides of the stomach. While they do get minimized after a while, these marks never completely disappear.
Most women will find that stretch marks appear during pregnancy. At times other than pregnancy, the most common event that causes stretch marks is puberty. Growth spurts mark puberty when different parts of the body suddenly grow. This can happen with the hips and breasts as well as other areas that see a sudden increase in height. As during pregnancy, stretch marks occur at this time because the skin is stretching much faster than it comfortably can.
An increase in body weight can also be responsible for the appearance of stretch marks. For this to happen, however, the increase in weight has to be quite rapid. A slower gain in weight when spread over months or years will allow the skin enough time to stretch. It is only sudden and dramatic changes in weight that causes stretch marks, like what happens during yo-yo dieting.
The Genetic Reasons Behind Stretch Marks
While looking for what causes stretch marks, it is also important to consider the genetic factors involved. Genetics often determines who will have stretch marks and who will not. Some people are certainly more prone to developing stretch marks than others. The genetic factor is the reason why two women who are pregnant and undergo similar body and weight changes can still be completely different when it comes to the formation of stretch marks.
The Scientific Understanding of What Causes Stretch Marks
Whatever the reason for the stretching of the skin be it weight gain, pregnancy or puberty, when this stretching occurs at a rate that the skin is unable to produce enough collagen to keep up with the rapid changes, stretch marks form. One of the best ways to keep this from happening is to moisturize the skin with products that encourage the formation of collagen.
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