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Steroid Hormones And Stretch Marks: Is There A Connection?

Jul 30, 2008
Stretch marks occur when the skin grows quickly and scarring occurs when the dermis tears just underneath the skin. This reddened area over time then takes on a color that is silvery to the naked eye. It is these silvery areas that we know commonly as stretch marks.

Since stretch marks occur when there is rapid growth or stretching of the skin, this can lead to the assumption that steroid hormones and stretch marks actually do have a connection. This is because steroids stunt ordinary growth which is something that our skin is not ready for naturally.

Stretch Marks & Athletes

Muscle Building - In order to vastly boost athletic performance, some people work out so that it will build their muscles faster and make them more efficient. Most athletes have stretch marks because of this heightened physical activity. It is simply because their dermis is not ready or strong enough to hold together from all the muscle growth and therefore the tearing begins and the stretch marks start to form. This is a common occurrence mostly in bodybuilders. Stretch marks that do occur usually are found where the greatest muscle mass has formed in a short period of time.

How Does This Happen?

Glucocorticoids Factor - There are many different theories today that are being tested so that people understand stretch marks even more. One of these theories suggests that they are a result of what are known as glucocorticoids. When these substances are richly present in the bloodstream, they are assumed to cause stretch marks more than anything else.

The interesting part is that these substances are a class of steroid hormones that are produced by the body. We can actually cause the substance to be released when we are in a state of physical or mental stress by producing cortisol which is a group of hormones glucocorticoids belongs to. Bodybuilders do go through a lot of physical and mental stress and this is how we connect the steroid hormones and stretch marks formation.

How It Works - When this hormone is released, the body is sent signals and the body will react in many different ways to the stress that released the hormones. This leads us to eat more so that we can balance the glucose that we feel is lost when we are stressed. If this stressed state is prolonged, then there is a greater tendency for the body to burn excess fat a lot slower. We therefore gain weight a lot quicker than normal and this can produce numerous stretch marks around the body where skin is stretched.

Getting to the root of what causes stretch marks is crucial so that we might be able to counter the effects or prevent the marks from occurring. But other people who are more wary of their skin can take more natural methods in making sure that they do not produce stretch marks. This involves a good diet and just the right amount of time of exercise.
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