What Do Stretch Marks Look Like?
What Do Stretch Marks Look Like?
Are you starting to notice linear lines forming in hues like pink, red, purple, or blue in areas like the belly, abdomen, armpits, breasts, buttocks, or thighs?
Well, you might be welcoming stretch marks.
I know firsthand how embarrassing and uncomfortable stretch marks are. I struggled with low confidence and anxiety because of them for years!
When I was in my early teens, I had a growth spurt and also put on a bunch of weight. Sure enough, red, pink, and itchy stripes started showing up on my buttocks and thighs.
I wasn’t sure what to make of it, but when I realized they weren’t budging after a few months, I started to get worried.
I tried multiple creams like cocoa and shea butter. I even bought a bunch of medical-grade creams from the pharmacy hoping they’d disappear. To no avail! Summer dresses, shorts, and cute skirts were out of the question.
Finally, I just let them be. Eventually, they began to fade into lighter, indented, silver streaks, but I still felt self-conscious in a bathing suit, or when I was naked around my husband.
Fast forward 10 years, I got pregnant with my first kid. The irregular, colorful, itchy lines came back with a vengeance. This time they were all over my abdomen and seemed redder and more prevalent!
That’s the moment that I realized that there were different types of stretch marks, in different areas, and they appeared for different reasons. This was totally fascinating to me!
In this article, we’re going to explore what stretch marks look like, the different types and appearances. I’m also going to give you actual solutions that get rid of them, because, believe me... if you struggled with them for as many years as I did - you learn a thing or two!
A Quick History Of The Stretch Mark Struggle
Stretch marks seem to have been a source of stress for women since the beginning of time. Women are documented wanting to remove stretch marks as early as 16 BC. The ancient Egyptians are also known to have prepared various herbal concoctions specifically to treat stretch marks. Stretch mark treatments recorded as early as 1st century AD endorsed natural removal treatments like unripe olive oil, sea salt, and frankincense. Thankfully, now there is a wide range of therapeutic and topical stretch mark treatments, as well as surgical modalities to help remove these frustrating scars, permanently! Later in this post, we’ll go through the most effective safe, natural, and proven stretch mark removal treatments.
The Signs & Symptoms of Stretch Marks
Stretch marks typically begin as pink, red, or purple indented streaks. Initially, they can be accompanied by a burning and itching sensation and, of course, emotional distress. Stretch marks can appear anywhere on the body but are most likely to appear in places where fat is stored. Some of the most common places for stretch marks are the abdomen, breasts, upper and underarms, back, thighs, hips, and buttocks. Over time, stretch marks tend to lose atrophy. As they mature, they also lose pigmentation and begin to appear empty and soft.
How Stretch Marks Appear & Different Stretch Mark Types
The different types of stretch marks are broken down into two main classifications based on their formation and appearance. The first is striae rubrae (new red stretch marks). The second is striae albae (mature white stretch marks). The remaining classifications include pregnancy and skin complexion type.
They are divided into these specific categories:
- Thinned skin
- Following pregnancy
- Stretched skin
- Dark blue
White Stretch Marks
Pregnancy Stretch Marks
Faded Stretch Marks
Purple Stretch Marks
What Do Stretch Marks Look Like Based On Their Cause
The appearance of a stretch mark may vary, depending on the cause of the stretch mark.
If stretch marks are caused due to prolonged and systemic steroid use, they will appear larger and wider. They may also include widespread areas, like the face.
Many variations occur in the appearance of puberty stretch marks. Boys may see stretch marks appear on the lumbosacral regions, thighs, and buttocks, as well as arms. Girls may get them on the hips, belly, and breasts.
Pregnancy stretch marks usually affect the abdomen and the breasts, and typically become visible during the sixth or seventh month of pregnancy. However, some women will start to see stretch marks forming as soon as their abdomen begins to grow. Pregnant women with a lighter skin tone will initially develop pink-colored stretch marks, while pregnant women with a darker skin tone will likely develop stretch marks that are lighter than the surrounding skin.
What Are The Stages Of Pregnancy Stretch Marks
The development pattern of what a pregnancy stretch mark looks like has three stages.
In the first stage, the stretch mark appears pink in color and it may be itchy. The skin around the stretch mark will immediately become flattened.
In the second stage, the stretch mark becomes larger in length and width. It then gradually turns to a reddish or purple color, depending on the skin tone.
The last and third stage of a stretch mark is when a stretch mark has matured. The stretch mark loses its red, pink, or purple color. A few months after the pregnancy the stretch mark will begin to fade to a pale, white, and silver color. It may be slightly depressed, and have an irregular shape and length.
How Does a Stretch Mark Form?
A stretch mark is a tear that forms in the dermis, or middle layer of the skin, when the skin expands rapidly.
The skin is made up of two proteins: collagen and elastin. These proteins are responsible for keeping the skin supple and stretchy. When the skin stretches beyond its normal limit, the collagen and elastin fibers break. The result is a stretch mark.
Eventually, the body will begin to heal the tear in the dermis. This leaves behind scar tissue. Scar tissue is white and smooth, it lacks collagen and therefore will not be firm. It will appear indented because it hangs more loosely than the surrounding skin.
Why Do Some People Get Stretch Marks & Others Don’t?
Not all cases of rapid skin expansion will cause stretch marks. The reason for this is fibroblasts. Fibroblasts are the skin cells that are responsible for creating collagen and elastin. Collagen and elastin are the two main proteins that keep the skin strong and elastic.
When fibroblasts are strong, so is the skin. Strong fibroblasts mean that the skin can stretch and handle rapid expansion without breaking, and repair damage quickly, before any scar tissue sets in.
When fibroblasts are underactive, stretch marks appear. The skin will take much longer to recover after it's been stretched, as there is not enough collagen and elastin present to keep the skin elastic and help it repair.
4 Reasons Why You Have Stretch Marks
The first is age. When we age, fibroblast cells become much less efficient. Therefore, older people are more likely to get stretch marks, as well as wrinkles.
Another factor is genetics. Genetics determine whether your fibroblasts are pre-dispositioned to work longer and faster.
The third is hormonal imbalances. Hormonal imbalances disrupt fibroblast activity and interfere with collagen and elastin production.
Nutrition & Lifestyle
Lastly, nutrition and lifestyle are two of the most important factors in determining whether you’ll get stretch marks. Nutrition helps provide the necessary building blocks for skin, while a healthy balanced lifestyle ensures that toxin exposure and stress are minimized. Proper nutrition is also one of the best things we can do to ensure healthy hormone function and skin health.
Nutrition & Exercise for Stretch Mark Prevention
One of the main causes of stretch marks is rapid weight gain. One of the best things you can do is incorporate moderate daily exercise. This will help you maintain a regular weight, and assist your skin in removing toxins. Try to incorporate exercises like swimming, walking, or yoga.
Keep in mind that muscle training is also attributed to stretch mark development. You can still train, but be sure to take the right preventative measures before beginning a muscle-building regimen.
It’s also important to get the right nutrition to support proper skin health. Getting the right nutrients ensures that the skin is healthy and strong, helps the skin heal, increases skin moisture, and helps with collagen production.
There are many nutrients you can incorporate into your diet, to support skin health! Here’s a good start:
Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Fish provide Omega 3’s and zinc, which can help regulate inflammation and the production of new cells.
Avocados are full of vitamin E and vitamin C. When combined, these vitamins help with collagen production. They also contain antioxidants that help protect the skin from oxidative damage.
Walnuts have Omega 3 & 6 fatty acids, zinc, antioxidants vitamin E, and selenium. These nutrients help the skin fight skin damage, and help with inflammatory response and wound healing.
Sunflower seeds contain skin-boosting nutrients like vitamin E, selenium, zinc, and protein.
Sweet potatoes have beta-carotene and carotenoid, which help ensure that the skin remains hydrated, and prevents sunburn, cell death, and dry wrinkled skin.
What Can I Do About My Stretch Marks?
One of the best ways to prevent stretch marks is to support fibroblasts. There are several ways to do this.
When fibroblast function is improved, it helps make your skin as strong as possible so that it can prevent and repair damage.
Here are the three best ways to improve fibroblast function
and fight stretch marks!
- The first is decreasing inflammation and increasing collagen production and blood flow.
- The second is ensuring that skin is properly hydrated and nourished.
- The third is to incorporate healthy nutrition and lifestyle practices such as whole foods and moderate daily exercise.
Ready to decrease inflammation, increase moisture, collagen, and elastin quickly? Read on!
Have You Heard of Enhanced Silicone Fusion™ Body Patches?
Enhanced Silicone Fusion™ body patches use the same patented technology that is used to treat scars. A large, clear silicone patch, specifically engineered to cover large surface areas like the belly, the sides, buttocks, and thighs, is placed onto the skin for 1-8 hours. As the silicone fuses with the skin, collagen and skin moisture levels increase.
How Does Enhanced Silicone Fusion™ Work To Remove Stretch Marks?
Medical grade silicone creates a closed and breathable microclimate when it's placed onto the skin. This microclimate allows oxygen to pass through and lets the skin breathe while locking in moisture. Moisture is then drawn up from the lower skin layers to the outside skin layers, encouraging, activating, and normalizing collagen production.
The unique environment created by the silicone patch helps the skin heal itself and repair stretch marks. In clinical studies, the Enhanced Silicone Fusion™ patches showed a marked increase in hydration, photo-damage repair, reduction in roughness and wrinkle depth, after just one application!
Because of its deeply hydrating effects, it is also an excellent preventative treatment for stretch marks.
Ready To Remove Your Stretch Marks Once & For All?
There’s no reason to struggle with stretch marks when you don’t have to. The Enhanced Silicone Fusion™ body patches have been designed to prevent, treat, and remove all types of stretch marks - no matter their cause. They can be safely used on any skin tone without the risk of painful injections, harmful chemical treatments, and negative side effects from surgery or laser therapy.
For a limited time, you can get Enhanced Silicone Fusion™ body patches for 20% OFF with FREE shipping!