Stretch Marks (cont.)
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Stretch Marks Causes
Stretch marks may occur during various phases of life but may be related to increased cortisol (a hormone produced by the adrenal glands) secretion or increased body mass. The most common cause of stretch marks is pregnancy, and pregnancy-associated stretch marks are medically known as striae gravidarum. It is thought that the rapid growth of the baby may play a role in their development, but not all pregnancies produce stretch marks. A relationship between pregnancy, obesity, and increased stretch marks has been reported. In obesity, it is thought that the stretching of the skin with weight gain causes the scars, but stretch marks have also been observed in people who experience a rapid increase in muscle mass with weight lifting. Taking some medications, such as corticosteroids like prednisone, may also produce stretch marks.
Zoe Diana Draelos, MD, PA
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