Stretch marks, also known as Striae, are a common skin condition both among female and males. But due to cosmetic reasons, stretch marks are more worrying to the women. This off-hue skin lines can most of the time present in the armpit, buttocks, back and lower abdomen. In this article we briefly discuss about the normal physiological condition causing stretch marks and we will spend more time to gain some insight about the serious medical condition which can cause stretch marks.
Stretch marks are most of the time due to rapid weight gain due to physiological changes in the body. A child may first experience the occurrence of stretch marks with the growth spurt during puberty. Puberty causes increase sexual hormones and more fat deposits under the skin. I noticed my first stretch marks when I was 14 at the corner of my arm pit. In a female this may be over buttocks or over breasts and more worrying to them.
Then the rapid weight gain can cause due to poor dietary habits and sedentary life can cause stretch marks. Our children’s life style has changed and childhood obesity is a worrying health care problem. Obesity can also associated with this ugly striae.
The other important physiological experience making women vulnerable to get stretch marks is pregnancy. Pregnancy is associated with hormonal changes and rapid weight gain. Also, pregnancy can cause mechanical pressure in the lower abdominal area causing the skin to be thin and fragile.
Other than the above mentioned physiological causes, there are few series medical conditions which can give rise to striae. Cushing syndrome and Diabetes are common endocrine disease which can cause stretch marks. Steroid medication also can cause striae as an adverse effect to these medications.
Cushing syndrome is caused by increased cortisone hormone production in the body. Most of the time this excess cortisone is produced in the adrenal gland. This may be due to a tumor in the adrenal or due to the effects of ACTH hormone from the pituitary gland. ACTH is a hormone produced in the anterior part of the pituitary gland and it stimulates cortisone hormone production. Also there can be tumors else where in the body making more cortisone hormones.
Diabetes can also be associated with many skin manifestations. Here we discuss about a associated skin condition of man causes giving rise to Diabetes. Please note that is not directly a cause of high blood sugar. But conditions like obesity, metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance can manifest skin changes and striae is one of them.
Some people have to be on long term cortisone medications. The increased supply for external cortisone can also give rise to stretch marks along with other adverse effects of this medication. Excessive hair growth, acne and weight gain are common side effects of long term steroid medications.
As highlighted in this article, striae are most of the time to due to physiological changes in the body. But it is important for us to exclude series medical conditions listed here. So when should we be worry?
If the striae are associated with other symptoms, it is vital that you see your family physician. he may order few tests depending on the clinical assessment to exclude series conditions. The most concerning symptoms are rapid weight gain, central obesity, headaches, abdominal pain, purple colour striae, mood changes, changes in appetite, poor control of blood sugar, etc
I hope I could give you some insight into the worrying causes of stretch marks. If you need to know how to prevent non harmful (physiological) stretch marks and treat them naturally, Please read this article.