What causes stretch marks?
Stretch marks – or striae – are the fine lines that appear from overstretched skin.
Initially, stretch marks can appear as red or purple slightly swollen lines that occur perpendicular to the direction of the skin’s expansion — as they age they become white and less conspicuous.
Stretch marks are caused by the skin tearing or being overstretched due to the rapid expansion of the tissues underneath:
- Skin becomes tight and overstretched because of the underlying expanding body tissues
- An inflammatory reaction starts to occur forming the characteristic red or purple colour
- White or flesh-coloured tissue is formed with the normal skin structure being replaced by dense non-elastic collagen fibres.
Who gets stretch marks?
Stretch marks are common and develop on parts of the body where the skin has been overstretched.
Stretch marks often develop after a period of rapid weight gain or sudden growth spurts, including during:
- Pregnancy – usually on the breasts and tummy (abdomen)
- Adolescent growth spurts – generally on the thighs, buttocks and breasts
- Body building – when there is rapid muscle growth (often around the shoulders)
Stretch marks can also appear after prolonged use of certain medications (such as corticosteroids) and as a result of certain health conditions (such as Cushing’s syndrome).
Pregnancy and stretch marks
Stretch marks are common in pregnancy. They usually appear on your tummy as your baby starts to grow and the size of your ‘bump’ increases — you may first start to notice an itchiness around the areas of skin that are being stretched. Stretch marks can also sometimes appear on your thighs or breasts as the pregnancy progresses.
Skin elasticity, hormonal changes and weight gain during pregnancy are some of the factors that can influence whether or not you are likely to get stretch marks. At what point during a pregnancy stretch marks start to appear will also vary from woman-to-woman.
How can Bio-Oil Skincare Oil help?
While stretch marks are permanent scarring of the skin, Bio-Oil Skincare Oil is formulated to help improve their appearance.
A product — such as Bio-Oil Skincare Oil — specifically formulated to help keep the skin supple and moist may help reduce the possibility of stretch marks.
Bio-Oil Skincare Oil should be massaged in a circular motion into the stretch marks (avoiding broken skin), twice daily, for a minimum of 3 months. Results will vary from individual to individual.