Genetics and Stretch Marks
Stretch mark is a kind of scarring on the skin characterized by an off hue colour. It is also called stria. This is caused by the extensive stretching of the dermis resulting to decreased elasticity. The epidermis also stretches, becoming translucent making the reddish-purple stretch marks visible.
Stretch marks at first appear as reddish or purple lines. They gradually change to a lighter color and appearance through time.
Areas of the body commonly affected by stretch marks include the abdomen, especially the navel, breasts, underarms, back, upper arms, thigh, buttocks and the hips. These areas usually store large amounts of fat. Stretch marks pose no health risks and do not affect the normal functions of the body.
Those who are prone to stretch marks are based on their genetic make-up. Genetics plays a big role in determining the likelihood of getting stretch marks. There is a pronounced deficiency of protein and DNA within the skin and accompanied by slow repair of the stretch dependent skin injuries. If either your mother or father had stretch marks, there is a big chance that you will have one in the future.
A study has revealed that glucocorticoids play a role in acquiring stretch marks. Cortisol, a glucocorticoid, once elevated induces the body to gain weight. Cortisol is only released when a person is stressed out. Causes that create stress include pregnancy, growth spurts, and body building. High cortisol levels triggers the body to store fat easily. This will eventually lead to weight gain in a short span of time, thus stretch marks can develop.
Rapid stretching of your skin is associated with pregnancy, puberty, weight gain or loss and body building. During pregnancy, there is rapid skin stretching due to the growing fetus. With increased hormonal levels, stretch marks start to become visible during the third trimester. About 75-90% of pregnant women develop stretch marks. A large increase in weight or weight gain also causes extensive stretching of your skin. Avoid gaining weight in a rapid manner, in doing so; the skin stretches continuously until it breaks. The result is the formation of stretch marks. During puberty, where there is a growth spurt, the skin is also rapidly stretched. Body builders and weight lifters are also prone to develop stretch marks. Their trainings and work outs results to muscle build-up in a fast manner, eventually stretching of the skin.
There are many products and ways to reduce or prevent the formation of stretch marks. Moisturizing the skin with products that encourage the formation of collagen is widely used today. Hydration is also important. Drinking plenty of water to be hydrated is a must. Exercise is also important. It helps in toning the muscles and helps the skin firm up. Your diet should also be taken into consideration, chose foods rich in protein and vitamin C and E. Body creams such as cocoa butter and also olive oil are being used. Stretch marks tend to lighten through time; however it cannot be completely removed.