“Striae Gravidarum” or Stretch Marks are nothing but areas of the skin that have been stretched out. It usually happens due to unusual weight gain or weight loss and depending upon the skin’s elasticity, it may leave a mark on the skin. Usually stretch marks are seen as fine lines on the body and are purplish or reddish in color in the early stages and then become hypo pigmented or colorless on maturity. As a result they start looking like glistening lines of scar tissue.

Stretch Marks are the most common type of skin lesion and are often known by medical names Striae Atrophicans, Striae Distensae, Striae Alba and Striae Rubra. Fortunately, stretch marks do not cause any medical problems but do raise cosmetic concerns for some of the individuals.

There are three different layers to the human skin. First there is the epidermis layer, more commonly known as the outer layer. Then there is the dermis layer or the layer in the middle, and lastly there is the deep layer that is called the subcutaneous stratum. The middle layer of the skin is what helps our skin to have elasticity and shape. This layer of the skin is where stretch marks occur. When someone gains weight, develops a lot of muscle mass, or even becomes pregnant, the middle layer of the skin will stay stretched and relaxed longer. This is unfortunately what causes stretch marks – where the skin loses its elasticity and connective fibers are broken.

These marks are completely harmless to our body and are more of a cosmetic or beauty concern then a health issue. They can occur anywhere on our body but are most commonly developed on the thighs, breasts, arms, buttocks and stomach. Stretch marks are likely to occur in men and women of all the age groups.

People who are constantly on diets such as bodybuilders usually have the problem of stretch marks due to drastic fluctuations in the body weight. The safe way to weight loss is to lose it at a slow rate. The risk of stretch marks is lowered if an individual were to let his or her skin and body adjust to the weight loss.

These days a lot of people go to extremes in order to lose weight. But once the drastic weight loss goals are achieved, they are shocked by the marks that appear on the skin. Whether these stretch marks appear due to pregnancy or weight loss, there is a solution to prevent or reduce the unsightly stretch marks. These days a lot of creams are available on the market, which can help you to reduce or prevent the stretch marks. Stretch mark creams work for some people but not for others. That is a topic we will discuss next time.

This is a post from FatManUnleashed.com’s Weight Loss Blog:

Are Stretch Marks Haunting You?

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