How to Tell if Your Stretch Marks are from Losing or Gaining Weight

how to tell if stretch marks are from losing or gaining weight

Stretch marks are pale or colored streaks that appear on the skin due to an accelerated weight gain or weight loss. Some other causes include pregnancy, effects of meds, etc. These streaks are visible on areas of the body that are prone to stretching due to fat accumulation. These areas include the following; Breasts, Hips, Buttocks, Abdomen. Have you ever wondered how you can tell if your stretch marks are from you losing or gaining weight?

How to tell if stretch marks are from losing or gaining weight

It’s simple. All you need to do is have a rough idea of what your weight averagely is. Once you check your weight on a balance and you see a figure greater than what the average weight is, it means your stretch marks are there because of weight gain. However, if the figure is less, it means that the stretch marks are there because of a weight loss. That’s how you can tell if your stretch marks are from you losing or gaining weight.

Asides weight gain or loss, the following factors play a large role in determining whether or not stretch marks show up.

  • The tone of your skin.
  • The elasticity of your skin
  • The health of your skin
  • The body’s cortisone levels.

What color are stretch marks when you gain weight?

The color of stretch marks depends on the skin tone of whoever has them. Usually, the lines could have colors fainter or deeper than the skin tone. Let’s look at the different kinds of stretch marks based on their colorations.

Striae nigrae

This kind of stretch mark has a black or grayish outlook. You would find this kind of coloration in people with dark skin.

Striae caerulea

This kind of stretch mark has dark blue or almost purplish coloration. The stiae caerulea is found in people with dark skin.

Striae rubrae

This kind of stretch mark has a pink or reddish coloration. This one is found in those with light skin. Stretch marks with this kind of color are usually ones that appeared recently. Their reddish color is usually due to the blood vessels present beneath the thinning skin. If they aren’t treated, they end up having purple or white colors.

Stria albae

This kind of stretch mark has white coloration and is also found in those with light skin. Stretch marks with this color are known as the mature ones and may be harder to treat than the recent ones.

What do weight loss stress marks look like?

Stretch marks look the same, regardless of whatever causes them. They all have windy or whip-like appearances and can span across a very wide area of skin. For example, the ones found on the thighs are usually very long. The ones on the breasts may be a bit shorter. The only difference in most of these stretch marks lies in the colors. The different colors have been discussed above.

Note: If you are neither pregnant or in the puberty age bracket, and are seeing these stretch marks, it has to be because you are either gaining or losing weight. Ensure that you get them treated the moment you begin to spot them because as time goes on, they get thicker and more difficult to treat. Treatment options include the following;

  • Moisturize the skin often. You can either drink a lot of water or apply moisturizing lotions on your skin.
  • Ensure that you eat healthy foods. Junk foods are one of the things that can cause a rapid weight gain.
  • Ensure that you exfoliate your skin regularly and also wear sunscreen whenever you are going out.

Types of stretch marks

There are different types of stretch marks, and they include the following;

Striae atophica

This type is one that occurs after the fibers of elastin or collagen in the body break down. These fibers are responsible for the elasticity and resilience of the skin’s layers. When they break down or stretch due to the gain of fat, the bands through which they pull out appear as stretch marks. This is the kind of stretch marks that result from either a loss or a gain in weight.

Striae distensae

This kind of stretch mark occurs when an individual is undergoing puberty. They can be found on the thighs, breasts, buttocks, and other parts of the body that are subject to changes. For example, due to the accelerated growth of the breast tissue in a female undergoing puberty, the skin starts to stretch out. The irregularity in the skin’s density leads to the formation of the stretch marks.

Striae gravidarum

This kind of stretch mark occurs only when a woman becomes pregnant. Due to the fast rate at which the skin stretches, there is a fast rearrangement of the interlocking fibers in the skin. That in turn causes stretch marks to appear. This kind of stretch mark occurs both in the belly of the woman, her thighs, buttocks, hips and in her breasts.

Vergetures

These stretch marks are different from the rest in that they have run across the body in long lines. You would find this kind of stretch marks mostly in the thighs and upper section of the arms.

Some other types of stretch marks could occur after cosmetic surgeries or on the bodies of those that use corticosteroids for a long period of time. Let’s also study the stages in which these stretch marks appear.

Striae rubrae

This type of stretch mark is known as the first appearance of stretch marks on the body. When the skin stretches to quickly, this kind of stretch mark appears. It is at this stage that symptoms like coloration of the skin and itching of the area can occur. The lines could also appear thickly or thinly, and in several dimensions.

Striae albae

This kind of stretch mark is known as the mature form of stretch marks. The striae rubrae begin to resemble scar-like lines. They also lose their whip-like shape. The surface of this kind of stretch mark could also have a wrinkled outlook. The time frame for striae rubrae to become the striae albae is about a year.