What Causes Stretch Marks – Hereditary, Weight Loss, on Knees, Buttocks

What causes stretch marks? Find out the causes of stretchmarks and lines on knees, breasts, thighs, legs, arms, in teenagers, men and lower back. Find out whether stretch mark lines are hereditary or genetic, and how bodybuilding and weight loss can cause stretch marks.

  • Can you get stretch lines from scratching?
  • How do we get stretch marks?
  • Why do teenage girls get stretch marks on breasts, legs and thighs?
  • What are different types of stretch marks?
  • Are red, purple, silver, white lines stretch marks?
  • Does weight gain and weight loss cause stretch marks?

    What causes stretch marks in pregnancy
    Pregnancy is the main culprit.

What are Stretch Marks?

If you have seen stretch marks pictures, then you will agree that stretch marks are stripes or streaks on the skin, mostly on the abdomen. Depending on the causes of stretch marks, they can be whiteredpink or even purple streaks on the skin. Doctors call these fine lines on the skin striae distensae, or striae gravidarum when it is the case of pregnancy stretch marks.

Although most women get stretch marks on their abdomen – pregnancy stretch marks – it is clear that these streaks or marks end up on various parts of the body, for both men and women. Dermatologists recommend some of the best solutions such as Mederma Stretch Marks Therapy for removing and preventing these lines from forming, whether in pregnant mothers, teenagers or even men involved in bodybuilding. The following are common areas where the scars may appear on your body.

Thigh stretch marks Lower back
Stretch marks on the hips Shoulder stretch marks
Breast lines Stretch mark lines on the legs
Upper arms Stretch mark scars on buttocks
Underarms Stretch marks in teenagers

It is important that you look at the stretch marks pictures in order to be able to identify the exact type of stretch marks you may have on your body. Let us get down to what causes stretch marks. Here, we will list the causes of striae in a general sense before we get down to the specifics of the different types of stretch marks and how we get them.

What Causes Stretch Marks?

The following is what causes purple, red, silver, white or colored marks on the body. Quite a number of causes are discovered to cause stripes on the body. These could be changes in the body, some health problems, physical changes on the body that we start by ourselves and many more. Slimming, for example can end you up with some stretch lines, a cause that you did not know could make the list of what causes stretch marks. Here are the most common causes of silver stripes, red marks and dark stripes on men and women. I have arranged them according to the area affected.

Stretch Marks on Knees Causes

On your knees, you can find that you have stretch marks. But what causes stretch marks on knees and behind knees? The answer is simple for most people, especially if the other obvious factors such as weight loss or weight gain are not the cause.

Stretch lines on knees and behind knees
Stretch lines on knees and behind knees

Stretch marks on knees causes include wearing tight clothing which strains the skin around the knees. Being a flexible skin, it easily gets injured and the marks will be visible on it soon enough. One person explains, “Tight clothes can be one of the cause for stretch mark appearance on knees. This could hinder the breathing of skin and cause marks.”

It is also identified that hormonal imbalances, especially in women can be responsible for those striae on the knees and behind knees.

What Causes Stretch Marks on Legs?

So, what is the cause of stretch marks on the legs? MedicinePlus notes that “If you grew very rapidly during puberty, your skin may have stretched too far and fast, resulting in stretch marks on your legs or even your sides.”

This pretty much explains why most teenagers get stretch marks on their legs, lower back and generally on the back. Other causes may include the following:

  • Rapid weight gain in men and women
  • Hormonal imbalances, especially during teenage days in girls
  • Cushing’s syndrome may also be a cause for those red lines on legs

What Causes Stretch Marks in Teenagers?

According to Wikipedia, “Teenagers are at highest risk of developing severe striae.” Generally, during puberty or teenage years, young girls and men gain a lot of fat, which means rapid weight gain. This stretches out their skin, and causes stretch marks in teenagers.

Teenagers in their adolescence also get stretch marks and cellulitis
Teenagers in their adolescence also get stretch marks and cellulitis

In simple terms, what causes stretch marks in teenagers is the epidermal and dermal tearing that results from the weight gain or accumulation of fat under the skin as the young girls and men grow fast during these years of their development.

Stretch Marks from Weight Loss

Can you get stretch marks from losing weight? Ironic, isn’t it? While it is consistently said that weight gain causes stretch marks, now we are talking about weight loss causing stretchmarks. But how is it that one gets stretch lines from weight loss?

  • After weight gain, the skin gets scarred, and it is left with marks
  • If you did not get the stripes, you are likely to get them as your skin becomes flabby from losing the extra pounds

If you are on a weight loss plan and would like to prevent stretch marks, it is important that you lose the extra weight slowly and steadily.

Are Stretch Marks Hereditary? Genetics Cause

Some people wonder why they are getting stretch marks on lower back, thighs and hips. Well, don’t be surprised that sometimes, stretch marks are hereditary. It is quite a controversy, but here are some insights that genetics causes stretch mark lines in some people.

  • You are likely to inherit from your parents genes that determine growth pattern. Rapid growth and weight gain, especially during puberty is likely to cause you some of those zebra lines. That is why it is said that stretch marks are hereditary.
  • The vulnerability of the skin to get stretch marks has a lot and almost everything to do with genetics. If your skin is less resistant to scarring, then it is likely that you will get stretch lines easily.

It came as a surprise to me too, that stretch marks can also be genetic. A director of the University of Miami Cosmetic Center, Laslie Bauman said, “Basically, if your mother had them, you’re probably going to have them” to hint that family history can also be a part of stretch marks causes. Well, now we know that some of us get stretch marks because genetic factors play a role on how we get them. Well, now you know the influence of hereditary genes on those pregnancy lines or silver stripes on your body. You can however, prevent them using good stretch mark creams.

What Causes Stretch Marks in Men? – Can Guys Get Stretch Marks?

Absolutely! Men get stretch marks when they gain weight rapidly. Bodybuilding stretch marks, however are caused when there is fast muscle mass growth and development on different parts of the body. Bodybuilding stretch marks occur mostly on shoulders, legs and upper arms.

Causes of Red Stretch Marks in Men
Causes of Red Stretch Marks in Men due to bodybuilding.

If you are a man and have been spending a lot of time in the gym, and now wondering why you have some purple lines or red stretch marks on your shoulders, the reason is simple, you are getting stretch marks due to the rapid growth of muscle mass around your body. It is very rare, but some men get those stripes on the tricepts, which is a common occurrence for women. So, if you asked, can guys get stretch marks, you now know what causes stretch marks in men.

Can You Get Stretch Marks from Scratching?

It depends. How much do you scratch yourself? The skin is a bit resilient and scratching alone is not enough to qualify as one of the causes of stretch marks. All I know is that when your skin stretches, it is likely to become itchy and scratching it can accelerate the development of stretch marks.

I would like to hear personal experiences on this one though. Feel free to share your experience on pregnancy and stretch marks, scratching stretch marks cause and much more.

In a Nutshell:

  1. The most common stretch mark cause is when your skin is stretched more than usual and leaving a stretch mark to appear because of the broken fibers on the underneath skin. This means that stretch marks are typically a type of scarring, only taking different colors such as silver, white, red, purple, pink, brown, dark brown or even faded.
  2. Pregnancy stretch marks have their own unique cause. A growing baby in the belly is known to be a reason for the stretching of the skin leading to the development and occurrence of marks on stomach. However, pregnancy and rapid weight gain could also account to what causes stretch marks on legs, things, arms, buttocks, breasts and so on.
  3. What causes stretch marks in men? Rapid weight gain causes the skin layers to be strained and is is common in both men and women. People who go on a lose-weight-fast regime are likely to end up with stretch marks, although these can fade slowly over time, but not disappear forever on their own. Learning how to lose weight safely can help you prevent stretch marks that occur during rapid weight loss or gain.
  4. Underlying health conditions have also been found to lead to striae in a small percentage of people. Widespread stretch marks on the body could be an indicator of Cushing’s disease, a rare genetic disorder. Adrenal gland diseases and disorders, use of topical steroids and taking oral corticosteroids have also been identified as the causes that can spread all through the body.
  5. What causes stretch marks in bodybuilders? Rapid muscle growth and toning of the body contribute to the causes of stretch marks in bodybuilders. Such marks can be seen on the areas that experience rapid activity of muscle growth and fat loss, such as shoulders, belly, legs, thighs and even butt.
  6. During puberty, various body parts develop quite quickly. That growth in spurts can cause stretch marks on shoulders, back (for pubescent males), hips, thighs and breasts (for pubescent girls). Now we have an answer to people who ask why do I get stretch marks during adolescence.

What Stretch Marks Look Like

Normally, stretch marks do not have any signs or symptoms, though depending on the various striae cutis and their types, a visual characteristic appearance is definitely notable. If you have not had stretch marks before, and you have some marks on the body, well, marks that look like stretch marks, then it is possible that you might have gotten some. Teens always ask me: what do stretch marks look like? Well, it is important to note that stretch marks will initially appear to be raised pink to purple lines that are longitudinally arranged over the lateral upper thighs, breasts, inner arms, abdomen and even on legs.

Striae can apper on breasts and worsen cleavage wrinkles if you have them
Striae can apper on breasts and worsen cleavage wrinkles if you have them

After some time, the purplish-pink color will lighten up and the stretch marks may start appearing as silvery lines on your skin. Stretch marks may look similar to a fading scar. Professional doctors normally term the purplish-pink stretch marks as striae rubra, while the silvery stretch mark lines are called striae albae. Dark-complexioned people or African Americans can also have stretch marks, and their stretch mark causes are also the same. In them, they will appear as dark brown lines, also termed as striae nigrae.

Types of Stretch Marks

In a general sense, there are two types of stretch marks. Red stretch marks and white stretch marks. Despite the different triggers, we can classify them using two different criteria. So, in this article, we will look at the reasons for the different types, starting with the two basic types: red and white stretch marks. We will move on to look at the different types of stretch marks depending on the body part they are found, see a few specific causes on that particular part and anything unique worth noting.

Red Stretch Marks

Red stretch marks are typically at an early development stage. Normally, the fibers beneath your skin are freshly getting torn, causing the redness. Therefore, the causes of striae at this initial stage is the rapid increase in weight that stretches your skin in that area. Red stretch marks are easily noticed and one can think they are getting injured on their skin if the reddening is too visible. Sometimes, red stretch marks manifest themselves as purple lines on the skin. Their exact color will depend with the hue or complexion of your skin. Some people see them as pink stretch marks.

White Stretch Marks and Silver Stripes

What causes white stretch marks? Well, they all start from being red, purple or pink stretch marks, then age up and become white or silver stretch marks. Look at stretch marks pictures and you will note that these are distinct depending on skin color.

Silver stripes on stomach
Silver stripes on stomach

The difference between red stretch marks and white stretch marks does not lie in the way they appear only. Color is sure the immediate distinction parameter here, but the truth is that the causes – white ones for this case – is age of the stretch marks themselves. Once they take a long time on the body, red stretch marks become more established and become less receptive to even some of the best stretch marks creams, lotions, oils and other methods of stretch marks treatments and removal.

Red stretch marks on the other hand are somewhat fresh and young. They are at an early stage of development. The causes of stretch marks, red ones at this time, are generally diet, rapid weight gain and pregnancy. Red stretch marks are highly receptive to stretch marks removal methods such as use of stretch marks creams, oils, vitamins, laser treatment and even microdermabrasion. Note that to remove white stretch marks, you may need surgery.

Stretch Marks on Stomach

What causes stretch marks on stomach? Quite an easy and tough question – all at the same time. Can men get stretch marks on the stomach too? Hilarious, isn’t it? Stretch marks on stomach are quite the commonest skin beauty problem for many people, especially women. But, the question is, can men really get stretch marks on stomach. Yes, they can! Obesity could be the pointer to that. Obese men gain weight rapidly on their bodies and can develop stomach stretch marks easily just as they would on other parts of the body such as thighs, underarms, shoulders and so on.

On the other hand, the stretch lines on stomach for women are quite widely known. Weight gain and even loss, pregnancy (see pregnancy lines below) and hormonal changes are the major reasons for the marks on the stomach for women. The skin stretches leaving these mild scars or stretch marks on the stomach region. As discussed above, stretch marks on stomach can be red or white depending on the stage of development.

Pregnancy Lines

So, what are pregnancy lines? Some people call them zebra stripes or tiger stripes on the stomach. Pregnancy lines are simply pregnancy stretch marks that occur when a woman is pregnant. The belly expands as the child grows. There could be other causes of stretch marks in pregnant women, since some of them might not even develop pregnancy lines on their bellies. With a stretch mark free pregnancy, you could also end up with after pregnancy stretch marks. Those may also be referred to as pregnancy lines.

As you develop pregnancy lines on your body, you will note that other parts of the body such as legs, underarms, thighs and hips get stretch marks too. The causes in this sense might be related to weight gain during pregnancy.

Stretch Marks on Thighs, Arms, Breasts, Buttocks and Hips

As already discussed, the stretch mark causes may not be specific as such. For stretch marks on breasts, teen girls and pregnant women are likely to experience stretch marks on breasts. For this case, the triggers are narrowed down to growth and development of the breasts as well as hormonal changes. Stretch marks on breasts can also turn out to be red or white, depending on their age. The cause of stretch marks on thighs, arms, hips and even shoulders remain the same – rapid growth and weight gain.

Red Stretch marks may apper on arms, thighs and buttocks when they are fresh
Red Stretch marks may apper on arms, thighs and buttocks when they are fresh

FAQs & Answers

In my own research and experiences with people who have had stretch marks, I have been asked quite many questions that relate to what causes stretch marks. Here are a few of them and what I have found out as the answers to the questions on stretch mark causes.

How Do We Get White Stretch Marks?

White stretch marks occur after red stretch marks develop on the body and age with time. This does not mean that the triggers are unique for white stretch marks or even red stretch marks.

Why Do People Get Stretch Marks?

All people grow. Some may get stretch marks and some may not. Pregnant women may get stretch marks because of the expanding belly that stretches the skin. The basic reason why people get stretch marks is rapid growth that stretches the skin to form stretch marks scars.

What are the Best Treatments and Remedies for Stretch Mark Removal?

There are very many ways on how to get rid of stretch marks. Here is a list of the most common ones.

  • Microdermabrasion for stretch marks removal
  • Laser stretch marks removal
  • Using creams for stretch marks removal
  • Herbal remedies for stretch marks removal. These are also called natural stretch marks treatments.
  • Using vitamins for stretch marks treatment
  • Mederma therapy for stretch marks removal
  • Lotions for stretch marks removal and oils for stretch marks removal.
Watch the Video below for a Summary of Stretchmarks Causes (not sure if the accent is clear)
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7sT2pGB7azc&rel=0&showinfo=0]

One comment

  1. I got stretch marks from Lyme disease and the co-infections associated.

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