The exact cause of stretch marks is still widely unknown, but it is thought that they are the result of the breaking down of collagen and elastin production due to stress on the skin. Stretch marks can happen for a number of reasons; be it pregnancy (which leaves stretch marks in nearly 90% of cases), weight gain, weight loss, or rapid growth (like puberty), stretch marks are found all throughout the human race, independent of age, sex, or skin color. These are easily one of the biggest and most frustrating cosmetic nuisances people suffer. So if they are so common, why do they happen and why are they so hard to get rid of? With so many stretch mark removal services and creams which ones really work?
Well, stretch marks happen when skin is abnormally stretched or hyper-expanded over a length of time; such stretching causes a rupture in the collagen and elastin that holds the skin together, therefore losing its ability to snap back in to place. The visible wrinkly rifts left in place are literally bands of broken elastin under the skin. Stretch marks are essentially inside-out scars from a wound that happens under the skin and, like many scars, are difficult to get rid of.
Stretch marks often appear around the belly and waistline, on the buttocks, thighs, and around the breasts (during or after pregnancy). It’s quite common to see them in people who have rapidly gained or lost weight, and are tough to prevent and difficult to treat afterwards. When it comes to weight loss, the best way to prevent stretch marks is to try and lose weight at a steady and measured rate; diet-based weight-loss programs with little to no exercise may get rid of weight quickly, but the rapid rate at which weight is lost can easily cause stretch marks. When it comes to pregnancy, balms and creams to prevent stretch marks are often advertised, but are little more than a placebo; the truth is that a healthy weight before pregnancy and a healthy nutritious diet are the best ways to avoid stretch marks from happening. Even then, more often than not, pregnancy will cause stretch marks in around 90% of expecting mothers.