This patient support community is for discussions relating to teen health, including abuse, acne and skin, alcohol and drugs, ADD/ADHD, exercise, growth disorders, infectious diseases, learning disorders, nutrition, piercings and tattoos, teen pregnancy, relationships, safe sex, sports injuries, STDs, vaccines, and weight loss.
After a certain age, our bodies undergo a radical metamorphosis from
a pre-pubescent childlike structure to a mature teen and then adult
form. This change can have certain physical adaptations to our bodies,
one of the most common being stretch marks. Stretch marks often appear
during the vulnerable teen years when we are not only growing taller,
but outwards as well.
Teen stretch marks are not just a result of general weight gain, but, especially for girls, appear as the hips widen and breasts grow. For boys, weight lifting and sports usually prompt stretch marks to appear on the arms, and sometimes inner thighs.
The physical appearance of teen stretch marks is purple-like or white markings very similar to a scar. The psychological imprint stretch marks on a teen, however, are usually moderately to severely negative self-image. Society has a standard of perfection, and stretch marks are considered unsightly. For teens, being at a vulnerable age, acquiring stretch marks has a huge impact on self esteem and can make them subject to teasing and torment.
Stretch marks form when the muscles, or in many cases, fat underneath the skin grows faster than the delicate surface can. Our skin is flexible, to a certain extent, but by either overeating, massive muscle gains, or sometimes genetics, the skin literally stretches in an attempt to catch up, resulting in a deeper, off-colored portion of skin, a.k.a. a stretch mark.
Safe ways for teens to prevent stretch marks would be regular, healthy exercise and stretching. By exercising regularly, you prevent fat from accumulating in areas prone to stretch marks, and by stretching you give your skin more opportunity to expand if necessary, without having the need to “stretch.” Furthermore, especially for boys, you need to keep your weight lifting to a natural level. If you push your body too hard too fast, stretch marks are likely to form. Instead, let your muscles grow gradually because not only do you lesson your chances of getting stretch marks, but your muscles will stay bigger and stronger for longer.
Lastly, if you are a teen who has stretch marks, don’t fret. Millions of people worldwide have stretch marks, it is a natural result of many lifestyles and genetics, and you are definitely not alone. Additionally, there are things you can do to drastically minimize the appearance of your stretch marks over time. There have been impressive advancements in stretch mark treatment through the decades, and many people have found that they can barely, if at all, notice their stretch marks anymore.