Causes of Stretch Marks

The Causes Of Stretch Marks

There are quite a few causes of stretch marks. The most common of these causes are:

  • Rapid weight gain
  • Pregnancy
  • Puberty
  • Obesity
  • Rapid muscle growth (common in body builders)
  • Lesser known medical conditions

Rapid weight gain

Causes of stretch marksStretch marks can be caused by rapid weight gain. This is true for both fat and muscle gain where the increase of muscle or fat is quicker than the rate at which the skin can adjust.

This is very common in people suffering from obesity but also in younger individuals experiencing growth spurts who have no unhealthy weight problems.


The occurrence of stretch marks during pregnancy is extremely common and generally occur during the later stages of pregnancy.

Research has shown that intraperitoneal adhesions are likely to be present when there are severe stretchmarks on the skin of women having a second Caesarian section.

Causes of stretch marks

Intraperitoneal adhesions where present in around half the woman with severe stretch marks.

The same hormones produced during preganancy to soften the pelvic ligaments and increase their flexibility also cause a softening in the skin fibers increasing the risk of stretch marks.

Stretch marks during pregnancy is common to appear on the abdomen but sometimes also appear on the tights and breasts.


During rapid development, stretch marks can occur in some youngsters that undergo growth spurts. These have even been recorded to appear on the back of some individuals.

Males generally show the appearance of stretch marks on there shoulders and back where females typically develop it on the thighs, breasts and hips.

Lesser known medical conditions

Conditions such as Cushing’s syndrome and Marfan syndrome have been shown to contribute to the development of stretch marks.

Cushing’s Syndrom

Cushing’s syndrom involves the overproduction of the stress hormone cortisol, which in turn can lead to rapid weight gain.

With the production of cortisol the weight generally is gained around the abdomen area.

This normally coincides with thin and fragile skin caused by Cushing’s syndrome which is more common in women than men.

Causes of stretch marks

There are however treatments for this syndrome and are generally quite successful.

Marfan Syndrome

Marfan syndrom is a genetic condition that is known to affect the elasticity of body tissues and can also cause general weakness in the tissue leading to the development of stretch marks.

Ehlers-Danlos syndrome

EDS (Ehlers-Danlos syndrome) is an extremely rare condition and affects the structural proteins in the skin which could also lead to the development of stretch marks.

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