What Are Stretch Marks?
According to dermatology, the official name for stretch marks is striae distensae. They are a form of scarring on the skin. Generally they appear with a different hue to the surrounding skin.
They can form on the stomach, breasts, thighs, hips, lower back or buttocks. Sometimes they are known by different medical names, depending on where they appear.
What Causes Stretch Marks?
Stretch marks are caused by tearing of the dermis. The mark may diminish over time but it will not disappear completely.
Often stretch marks occur due to rapid growth or rapid weight changes (e.g. pregnancy). They may also be influenced by hormonal changes. For example, Cortisone — a hormone produced by the adrenal glands (and in some medications) — weakens elastic fibers in the skin, making stretch marks more extreme.
Disclaimer: The statements made on this page have not been evaluated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). They are not intended to diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. If a condition persists, please contact your physician or healthcare provider. The information provided is not a substitute for a face-to-face consultation with a healthcare provider, and should not be construed as medical advice.