How a stretch mark forms

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Even at the young age of 13 (and sometimes even younger), stretch marks can appear. “Stretch marks can cause problems in terms of skin texture because the tissue has collagen that is laid down in layers, in one direction as a scar,” says New York dermatologist Marcene Alexiades-Armenakas, MD. “As a result, the skin is atrophic or thin, and the light that is reflected makes them appear white.” Typically, the stomach, thighs, hips, butt and breasts are most susceptible to developing stretch marks, but they can appear anywhere on the body. As the tissue under the skin is “stretched out,” collagen’s normal production cycle is interrupted and damaged, and stretch marks begin to surface. Stretch marks also correlate to an influx of the hormone glucocorticoids, which becomes elevated during puberty, pregnancy, excessive weight training and obesity, and prevents collagen and elastin from properly forming. 

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