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Facts about stretch marks

Updated January 7, 2021

Woman applying a lotion

Stretch marks are not dangerous but can be annoying. The fact that you have scars on your skin that you can’t even touch is just frustrating. There is a lot of information about stretch marks on the internet, and despite all that information, you can’t seem to find an instant solution to get rid of them. In fact, the main cause of their appearance, i.e. sudden growth, does not seem to justify why they are there on your body. Here is an abridged summary of everything you should know about stretch marks, and hopefully, you will find answers for many of your questions:

• Stretch marks are not on the surface of your skin. They are on the dermis, the inner layer of your skin.

• More than 50% of women develop stretch marks during pregnancy.

• For some ethnicities, up to 90% of the population can develop stretch marks.

• Fresh stretch marks are reddish, purplish, or blackish.

• Old or aged stretch marks turn white or silver.

• Stretch marks commonly appear on thighs, breasts, underarms, triceps, buttocks, hips, and abdomen.

• If you are neither obese nor pregnant and you still have stretch marks, they might be caused by genetics.

• There is no treatment that guarantees instant results against stretch marks.

• It does not matter which treatments you choose, it will only help stretch marks fade away faster. Some might not work at all.

• Fish oil, cocoa butter and vitamin E are among the common ingredients for treating stretch marks.

• In severe cases, your stretch marks can be itchy.

• Increase of cortisone can increase the chances of you developing stretch marks.

• Marfan’s Syndrome and Cushing’s Syndrome are conditions that make people more susceptible to stretch marks.

• Caucasians with pale skin color are highly prone to stretch marks.

• The best way to treat stretch marks is not to let them appear in the first place and you can do that by keeping your skin healthy through proper diet, exercise, and hydration.

• Stretch marks are in the shape of long stripes. They are almost never in the form of a discolored patch on the skin. In case you notice a big patch of discoloration or redness, contact your doctor immediately.

• Stretch marks are also called striae – that’s the term your doctor might use more often.

• Striae Rubra means red stretch marks.

• Striae Alba means white stretch marks.

• If a treatment works, apply it when your marks are red. White stretch marks are matured and no treatment is going to treat them.

• When using a topical treatment for stretch marks, scrub and massage to make your skin absorb the lotion, cream or whatever natural herb you are using.