Our expert says:
Hi Jo, thank you for the question.
Stretch marks (striae) appear as parallel streaks of red, thinned, glossy skin that over time become whitish and scarlike in appearance. The stretch marks may be slightly depressed and have a different texture than normal skin.
Stretch marks are caused through skin that is subjected to continuous and progressive stretching; increased stress is placed on the connective tissue due to increased size of the various parts of the body. It occurs on the abdomen and the breasts of pregnant women, on the shoulders of body builders, in adolescents undergoing their growth spurt, and in individuals who are overweight. Prolonged use of oral or topical corticosteroids or Cushing syndrome (increased adrenal cortical activity) leads to the development of striae. Genetic factors could certainly play a role, although this is not fully understood.
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