Why do stretch marks appear on the body? Do they appear due to pregnancy or weight gain? Below you can find six most widely spread myths about stretch marks.
You get stretch marks through any of the following:
Rapid weight loss or weight gain
Increased glucocorticoid hormone in the body
Myth No. 1: One can get stretch marks from scratching any area that is rapidly expanding either due to pregnancy or weight gain.
Strangely enough, women, especially pregnant women, are often recommended not to "scratch" itchy areas for the fear of developing stretch marks. This is simply not true. Scratching skin is simply not one of the reasons that may lead to the appearance of stretch marks. These marks, medically known as striae, may develop due to constant pressure on the skin through rapid stretching. The skin is normally very resilient when it comes to stretching but when coupled with hormonal changes in the body the collagen fibers may become vulnerable enough to break.
In the case of pregnant women, the hormones that are responsible for softening the ligaments in the pelvic region to allow passage to the baby are also the same hormones that make the collagen on your skin more prone to breakage. The collagen breakage then leads to small microscopic tears on the dermal layer that now develop into stretch marks.
Myth No. 2: Skinny people do not get stretch marks.
Puberty and rapid growth spurts may cause stretch marks to appear even for skinny people
Also read: The eroticism of being fat
Myth No. 3: Losing weight and exercising physically prevents stretch marks
If a person loses weight rapidly or is too much preoccupied with physical exercises, it may even exacerbate the appearance of stretch marks. Toning exercises cannot prevent stretch marks from happening. In addition, those who take steroids are also more prone to developing stretch marks.
Myth No. 4: Drinking lots of water will help keep stretch marks at bay.
Water is known for removing toxins from the skin and keeps it moist. Unfortunately, this is hardly enough to overcome any predisposition to developing stretch marks, especially if you are genetically predisposed to developing them.
Myth No. 5: Only women can develop stretch marks
Our higher body fat content tends to encourage more stretch mark formation. Men, especially those who work out, may develop stretch marks as well. The collagen fibers are denser in men's skin compared to women's. This may help male skin to resist the development of both cellulite and stretch marks, although men can develop both.
Myth No. 6: Cosmetic creams can help prevent stretch marks
This is both true and false. Many women have reported a significant difference in the development of stretch marks between pregnancies in which they used stretch mark creams vs. pregnancies in which they didn't. This is the reason why these creams are still in the market, as they seem to work for some women.
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