Can Hormones Affect Stretch Marks?

Stretch marks are an aggravating condition that affects the skin. These marks appear on the skin for a number of reasons, including the production of a stress hormone called cortisol, which is produced by the adrenal glands in response to stressful stimuli. If you have stretch marks and would like to know more about stretch mark removal, take a look at this guide that explains how hormones affect stretch marks.

What Are Stretch Marks?

Stretch marks, also known as striae, are a somewhat odd phenomenon. They appear as a series of indented streaks, typically on the abdomen, breasts, buttocks, and hips, though they can occur in other locations on the body. These marks have the potential to appear on anyone but tend to appear on pregnant women and those who experience significant and rapid fluctuations in weight.

Stretch marks are not considered a medical concern; rather, most people find them aesthetically undesirable. The marks often lighten on their own accord, but there are treatments available to completely erase them.

Can Hormones Affect Stretch Marks?

Cortisol is a hormone that the body produces in response to stress. In the past, the hormone’s function was to guide the animal body in survival situations. In our modern world, cortisol is produced in response to many of the micro-stressors that one faces in daily life. Cortisol can impact the organs of the body, including the skin. If you experience a stressful situation, the health and appearance of your skin may suffer as a result.

Cortisol is not only produced as a by-product of stress. It can be more likely to appear when you:

  • Overuse corticosteroids
  • Have breast augmentation surgery
  • Exercise while using anabolic steroids
  • Have a family history of stretch marks
  • Are pregnant
  • Experience rapid growth in your teenage years
  • Gain or lose weight rapidly
  • Have genetic conditions such as Cushing syndrome or Marfan syndrome

It is also worth noting that women are more likely to develop stretch marks than men for the previously mentioned reasons and due to the fact that females typically have a higher body mass index than males.

When you visit your medical professional to discuss your stretch marks, they can help you identify their possible causes. Together, you will observe your lifestyle choices and discuss any recent life events that may have influenced the development of your stretch marks.

Identifying Stretch Marks

There is an extensive range in the ways stretch marks may appear on the skin. Often, there is little similarity between the stretch marks of one patient to another. In addition, the marks tend to change in appearance as time goes on. Some commonalities in the appearance of stretch marks include the presence of:

  • Streaks that crisscross large areas of the body
  • Bright streaks that fade over time
  • Streaks that appear red, pink, discolored, black, blue or purple
  • Indented streaks that appear on the abdomen, hips, buttocks, breasts, or other locations of the body

As previously stated, stretch marks can vary significantly in terms of appearance. If you are unsure of the categorization of a mark on your skin, discuss with your physician whether or not it is a stretch mark. These medical professionals are trained to identify the subtle differences between the conditions of the skin.

Risks Associated With Stretch Marks

Stretch marks cause no serious medical complications. Nevertheless, they can be so aesthetically displeasing and psychologically upsetting that patients feel provoked to take action to self-correct them.

If you have noticeable stretch marks covering a large part of your body, you should consider seeing a healthcare professional. Your health professional can determine the cause of your stretch marks and recommend a course of treatment.

L.A.’s Best Skin Doctor

Simi Doctors Med Spa is one of the most trusted resources for patients in L.A. who want to improve the appearance of their skin. If you suffer from stretch marks and would like to talk to a professional about what treatment would work for you, do not hesitate to contact us and set up an appointment. Erase your stretch marks and start living more confidently today.

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