Stretch marks can occur on almost anyone’s skin. These nasty-looking purplish or reddish streaks change to a whitish or paler color after some time. Read this article to know more about stretch marks on breasts and ways of preventing them.
Four Types of Stretch Marks on Breasts
Stretch marks consist of four types. Each type can be categorized using their length and the causes of the stretch marks.
- Stria Atrophicans – These are finely marked lines that may be pinkish on the onset but develops into grey lines. The length of the stretch marks is usually around 14 cm. Pregnancy, obesity, tumour, edema cause skin stretching. The stretching of skin breaks down elastin and collagen resulting in Stria Atrophicans.
- Striae Distensae – These look like narrow stripes and around a few centimeters long and between 1-10 mm wide. It starts as reddish then turns to purplish to a whitish hue over time. These are caused by gaining weight during puberty or during pregnancy.
- Stria Gravidarum – These are straight short lines or tears that connect and look like irregular depressions on the skin. They are caused by pregnancy during the 6th-7th month. These stretch marks initially appear in the breast area but can spread to the thighs and abdomen area. They are reddish but fade into a whitish color after pregnancy, though they never actually disappear.
- Vergetures – These are long, patterned stretch marks that look like a whiplash.
Color is also another way stretch marks are classified.
4 Stretch Mark Types According To Its Color
- Stria Rubrae – Red stretch marks
- Stria Albae – White Stretch marks
- Stria Nigrae – Black Stretch marks
- Stria Caerulea – Dark Blue Stretch marks
How do we get Stretch marks? Stretch marks can happen when body size changes because of several factors. However, it’s not just the body size that creates stretch marks. Other factors can be linked to stretch marks on breasts such as the ones mentioned below.
The 6 Most Common Causes of Stretch Marks
#1 – Hormonal Changes Causes Stretch Marks
Puberty causes hormonal changes that trigger a sudden growth in the body, especially in the breast area. The more the skin stretches, the more it becomes thinner. Skin thinning leads to stretch marks not only in the breast area but also in other areas.
These areas change a lot during puberty. These include the hips, butt, and thighs. Stretch marks during pregnancy are normal and common, especially for girls.
#2 – Pregnancy is the most common cause of Stretch Marks
As you may have noticed when we talked about the types of stretch marks that most of them form during pregnancy. Women gain weight during pregnancy. This sudden weight gain causes stretch marks to develop on their skin.
Breast size also increases by at least two cups during and after pregnancy to give way to milk ducts for breastfeeding. The sudden change in breast sizes causes the thinning of the skin. That is why women are more prone to develop stretch marks.
#3 – Weight Gain/Loss is also one of the significant causes of Stretch Marks
Change in body weight contributes a lot to stretch marks. Weight gain causes skin tightening and thinning. Weight loss causes the loss of collagen in the skin, making skin lose its elasticity. The loss of elasticity makes the skin exposed to tearing and the development stretch marks.
#4 – Cosmetic surgery may cause Stretch Marks
Breast Implants and Skin augmentations can also overly stretch the skin because of the sudden increase of breast size. So, breast implants enhance the risk of stretch marks development due to sudden beast growth. Moreover, if breast implants are one cup larger than the patient’s standard size, stretch marks possibility grows even more.
#5 – Genetics also contribute to Stretch Marks
Genes can also add to the reasons why a person has stretch marks. The ELN gene, which is responsible for the supply of elastin in the skin may be handed down by the parents to their children.
#6 – Specific conditions may also cause Stretch Marks
Having conditions like Cushing syndrome is known to be a contributing factor to stretch marks.
Other conditions include corticosteroids which are used to treat asthma and some autoimmune diseases.
Diabetes also potentially increases the rate of having stretch marks because of its effect on the skin’s collagen.
Four Ways to Prevent Stretch Marks from Forming on The Breasts
Stretch marks are something familiar to everyone. Prevention isn’t always practical. To reduce the development of breast stretch marks, you can opt for the following ways.
- Stay hydrated and drink more water than flavored drinks.
- Maintain your body weight by managing your diet and doing regular exercise.
- When you’re pregnant, ask your dermatologist for stretch mark creams as a pre-emptive and precautionary method to prevent the likelihood of stretch marks from developing.
- Don’t scratch breast stretch marks when they itch; instead, use topical creams and solutions.
Home treatments are a more affordable alternative. These have reduced risks of potential side effects compared to using surgery to remove stretch marks on breasts. Note that these home remedies only help in lightening and reducing the visibility of breast stretch marks.
4 Most Popular Home Treatments For Stretch Marks On Breasts
#1 – Massage the skin to promote blood circulation.
Massaging the skin, especially the breast area encourages blood circulation and collagen production. These contribute to the fading of stretch marks on the breast and the other regions of the skin.
#2 – Exfoliate the skin to promote collagen production.
Use exfoliating brushes and scrubs to improve collagen production. There are a lot of skin scrubs and brushes online. Try to get the best ones that react best with your skin.
#3 – Use Stretch mark creams that promote skin elasticity.
Stretch mark creams are very affordable. They provide the best option in lightening the stretch marks to make them unnoticeable. Shop online for the best selection of Stretch mark creams. Make sure you read the reviews of other users. Test first on small parts of your breasts if you have sensitive skin. It’s better to consult a dermatologist to find the best stretch mark cream for your skin.
#4 – Use Skin butter that contains Vitamin E.
Skin butter is very popular nowadays and can help lighten traces of stretch marks on the breasts and other parts of the body. Just make sure that the Skin butter contains Vitamin E.
Check our complete guide on Stretch Mark Remedies Backed by Science That Could Work for You
4 Most Effective Medical And Surgical Approach To Stretch Marks
The best ways to remove stretch marks are medical and surgical and are more expensive.
These treatments are not 100% effective to remove all traces of stretch marks, but they offer a more effective solution for a price.
Here are four of the most popular treatments/surgeries that can help reduce the visibility of breast stretch marks:
- Laser resurfacing therapy. Laser (specifically made for skin) is the most effective. It is popularly used by the dermatologist to break down scar tissues to increase blood flow. Increasing the blood flow of the skin help damaged breast tissues to do self-repair functions.
- Acid Peel treatments. Acid peeling is more effective than conventional exfoliation practices. Acid peeling is faster and helps to reduce the visibility of stretch marks effectively.
- Microdermabrasion. Microdermabrasion is a notch higher than peeling and exfoliation in terms of effectiveness as it not only exfoliates the skin but also improves skin collagen.
- Creams and Ointments prescribed by Dermatologists. These are topical creams that contain collagen or silicon to help enhance the elastin in the skin.
Stretch marks on breasts are relatively common. These may fade away on its own over time. They are not life-threatening or dangerous, but if you’re conscious about them, you can try the treatments mentioned here.
Topical treatments and surgeries can help more when stretch marks are still fresh and haven’t developed into a whitish color. Consult your dermatologist to find out which of the treatments is best for the stretch marks on your breasts.