Written by Lisa Allen | Edited by Dr Mark Kapnoudhis
Trying to get rid of stretch marks can be one big hassle especially when you do not understand so much about them. Basically, stretch marks are skin lesions that occur in the dermal layer of the skin when the connective tissues break and rupture as a result of being stretched beyond their elastic capacity.
The most likely places where they occur include the hips, abdomen, buttocks, thighs, upper arms and breasts. Apart from the commonly known reason of a sudden increase in weight, it is also becoming apparent that hormones cause stretch marks as well.
How Stress Causes Stretch Marks
Stress is supposed to be a normal part of life and the human body has been specifically equipped to handle stress with a fight or flight reflex. However, when a person is faced with more than a fair share of life’s challenges the body can easily get overwhelmed and cause a number of negative reactions. When the body is not able to cope with stress many functions that are supposed to be normal cannot happen any more.
Some of the negative effects of stress include:
- Mild cases of acne that can become severe depending on the amount of stress a person is undergoing.
- Blood pressure increases.
- A change in coping mechanisms which cause many people to look for different coping mechanisms which include alcohol, smoking, junk foods or hard drugs; when a person gets into such coping mechanism they actually end up making a bad problem become worse.
Hormonal Reactions To Stress
When stress becomes an issue the body releases a hormone, cortisol which is basically known as a stress hormone. This is a hormone that is related to corticosteroid and it is produced by the adrenal gland in response to stressful situations. When this hormone is secreted it among other things increases blood sugar levels, increases blood pressure and is also know to cause cases of infertility in women.
Negative Effects Of Cortisol
Cortisol, which is basically a stress related hormone, goes on to produce some negative effects on the body and some of them are generally visible on the skin. Cortisol hampers the production of collagen which is the protein that is responsible for the skin’s elasticity and youthful appearance. The resultant effect is that the dermis becomes weaker and it becomes more vulnerable to the occurrence of stretch marks especially when any weight gain is experienced.
Cortisol And Weight Gain
When the adrenal glands produce more cortisol there is also a tendency that the person involved is likely to gain excess weight as well. The reason is that when your body is undergoing stressful moments it has the tendency to store more fat than may be necessary and when this fat gets to accumulate in a short period of time it leads to the occurrence of stretch marks. You can however counter the negative effects of stretch marks caused by hormones by improving your diet and learning stress management techniques.