Why do i have stretch marks?

Small whitish lines appeared on your thighs and belly without warning? Yes, it is good stretch marks.

Benign and common phenomenon, they can however be a complex for the people concerned. In this article, we will explain this phenomenon and the means to remedy it.

Stretch marks, what are they?

Stretch marks are very common skin lesions , mainly female: 80% of women against 40% of men. They result from the tearing of the underlying tissue, caused by excessive stretching or rapid growth. They are generally oriented in the direction of the tension of the skin.

There are two phases of evolution of these stretch marks:

  1. An inflammatory phase which is characterized by a purplish-red aspect of the stretch marks, linked to the vasodilatation vessels. These are the striae rubra . This is a recent stretch mark on which treatments are quite effective.

  2. A scarring phase where the stretch marks appear white: the striae alba . Of old appearance, they are more difficult to treat.

Stretch marks that develop during or after pregnancy are called striae gravidarum .

Stretch marks form in the dermis, where we find fibroblasts, cells that produce collagen and elastin , molecules involved in the suppleness and resistance of the skin. They are therefore the result of an alteration of these specialized cells leading to the rarefaction of these fibers and therefore, the weakest resistance to external constraints.

In most cases, stretch marks appear as a result of different phenomena:

  • excessive weight gain,

  • Rapid growth during puberty,

  • Excessive bodybuilding: more in men, especially found in the back,

  • hereditary factors,

  • Pregnancy.

Three areas are particularly targeted by stretch marks.

At chest level

The chest is very exposed to the development of stretch marks. Indeed, during two very specific periods of life which are pregnancy and puberty, hormonal variations are important leading to a hypertrophy fabric. However, this area being thin and fragile, it will quickly crack and cause stretch marks.

At belly level

The belly is also prone to stretch marks since it will be heavily used during pregnancy and in the event of significant weight gain. The location of this type of stretch mark is often around the navel.

In the thighs

They are generally located on the upper outer part of the thigh but can also be found on the inner part. They can appear as a result of rapid growth at puberty, in the event of weight gain or simply be of genetic origin.

What are the treatments for stretch marks?

The treatment of stretch marks is long, with more or less sure results, and which does not allow all types of stretch marks to be treated. Indeed, management at the inflammatory level provides better results than the treatment of stretch marks that are already present, white. However, it is recommended that any patient bothered by their stretch marks consult a dermatologist who will provide advice and appropriate treatment. 

The best way here is therefore prevention and goes through small reflexes:

  • Control your weight at the start of pregnancy,

  • Avoid using soap that is too aggressive,

  • Moisturize your skin well morning and evening.

L'sweet almond oil is a great classic for stretch marks. It can be used in prevention or to attenuate them when they are already present. It is important to perform a massage in order to properly penetrate the cream on the areas. Composed of approximately 70% monounsaturated fatty acids , these will restore hydration and elasticity to your skin.

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