Most Common Reasons for Stretch Marks - By Sarah Killian

The skin is considered to be the largest organ of our bodies. Its job is to protect all our internal systems and parts. It is very pliable and flexible, however even skin has its limits. A person gets stretch marks because their skin has endured either rapid expansion (stretched) or rapid contraction (reduction). Stretch marks can be found on just about any part of the body, but the most common areas are: stomach, hips, thighs, buttocks, legs, arms, breasts and shoulders.

These are the most common reason stretch marks occur:

Weight changes:

Rapid weight loss or weight gain is the most common reason for stretch marks. Skin stretches as a person's weight increases, but as the skin gets pulled the collagen and proteins found in the skin stretch as well and ultimately break down within the tissue. This type of stretching isn't only found in individuals who have gained weight due to unhealthy diets, body builders and pregnant women can see marks as well. Rapid weight loss also causes stretch marks as the skin cannot reduce and resume its original condition after being pulled thin for so long.

Poor diet:

Your skin, like any organ needs water to keep it hydrated and vitamins like beta-carotene and vitamin A to keep it healthy. Having a poor diet can prevent your skin from producing new cells which keeps it resilient and less likely to over-stretch breaking down the tissues causing stretch marks.


Whether or not you family is prone to stretch marks also makes a difference. Like hair color or how tall you grow; your skin's limitations are also passed down. This is why you see two people, who seem to be the same weight and size, but one has stretch marks and the other does not.

Hormone changes:

It is commonly accepted that increased levels of a hormone produced by the adrenal gland called glucocorticoid causes stretch marks. Factors that can cause an increase are: puberty, extreme stress, weight lifting, menopause and pregnancy. This is because glucocorticoid prevents elastin and collagen from forming which helps the skin maintain its elasticity and strength.

Birth Control:

Not all forms of birth control contribute to stretch marks. The birth control pill, certain IUDs or other forms of contraception that alter hormone levels have been known to change the body physically (they are sometimes given to clear up acne and some women report larger breast size)  

Disclaimer: The medical information provided in LookBella is, at best, general and can not replace the advice of a medical professional, a qualified doctor, physician or nurse.

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