Marks on our bodies are reminders of the past: a chickenpox mark from childhood, freckles from days at the beach, a scar from falling off a bike, or a C-section line from bringing a new life into the world.
Stretch marks are also wearable souvenirs from the seasons of life. Why is it that a cut or a bruise clears up, yet stretch marks seem to be permanent? Some women are bothered by stretch marks on the skin while others pay them no mind at all.
Today we’ll expand on what stretch marks are, how they form, remedies, and prevention.
What Do Stretch Marks on Breasts Look Like?
Stretch marks are variegated indentations on the skin of various size and coloration. They are the remnants of the skin coping with a rapid body change.
Some are short and clustered close together while others are longer and more spread out among the skin’s surface. Newly formed marks will be reddish or purplish in color from the blood vessels involved. Once a year or more has passed, these marks will fade to a white or silver color.
Types of Stretch Marks
As you look over your body every now and then, you might notice different kinds of marks in various areas. The medical community has categorized them so we can know exactly what we’re looking at.
- Striae atrophica: “Striae” means linear marks, ridges, or grooves while “atrophic” means a body tissue or an organ has atrophied. This type of stretch mark is quite common and happens when elastin and collagen of the skin break down. It happens during growth spurts for adolescents, or at the last stage of pregnancy. Excessive marks are bothersome to some patients because the marks are high in number or are brightly colored in appearance.
- Striae distensa: These marks are also linear and are stripe-like. They tend to present horizontally rather than vertically or circular. These happen during puberty or weight gain.
- Striae gravidarum: The word “gravidarum” means relating pregnant women. So these marks are exclusive to maternity. Along with a growing belly, pregnancy-related expansion happens elsewhere on the body (such as breast enlargement in preparation for nursing). These are also stripe-like and tend to be vertically oriented.
- Vergetures: “Vergetures” translates to “stretch marks.” These are long marks that make the skin look like it was lashed with a whip.
Why do I Have Stretch Marks on My Boobs?
Stretch marks are found on the legs, under the arms, around the belly, on the hips, etc. Women may discover they have stretch marks on the breasts. Men may also find stretch marks on the chest or around their pectoral areas.
But what causes stretch marks on breasts? For women who breastfed for a time, the cause is easy to figure out. However, if you’ve never been pregnant or nursed a baby, it may be puzzling as to how these marks got there.
Here are the common situations when a woman would find developing stretch marks on her breasts.
Stretch marks on the breasts during pregnancy is perhaps the most common reason these develop. As a woman gets closer to her delivery date, hormonal changes occur to prepare the breasts for feeding an infant.
A pregnant woman can expect breast growth of up to two cup sizes. When this growth comes on rapidly, this causes stretch marks.
Once the baby is born, the breasts can become engorged with milk while nursing. This also causes the skin to stretch.
Weight Gain or Loss
And thanks to hormones, women often deal with weight fluctuations. That alone is cause for stretch marks to form.
Many women would be quite content to keep some volume in the bosom as they lose weight, but for some body types, the breast area is among the first parts that decrease.
With so many advancements in weight loss methods, some of us see many pounds melt away within a few months. With rapid weight loss, your mammaries may shrink which leads to stretch-marked breasts.
If family members (especially your parents) get stretch marks, this makes you predisposed to getting them yourself. (In this case, be sure to read our prevention tips coming up later in the article.)
Breast augmentation surgery causes stretch marks as the skin of the breast adjusts to the addition of implants.
When a girl’s body is preparing for womanhood, hormonal changes may induce hasty breast development.
Health issues may cause rapid skin stretching or elasticity problems. For example, Marfan Syndrome and Cushing’s Syndrome are autoimmune conditions that exacerbate stretch mark development. Dehydration will also contribute to stretch mark development.
How to Remove Stretch Marks from Breasts
Can women get rid of stretch marks on breasts or are they stuck with them for life? In many cases, the stretch marks on breasts can be substantially reduced to greatly minimize the appearance of these lines. We’ll go over the most sought after options for reducing breast stretch marks naturally or in a clinic.
No home treatments have been proven to reduce stretch marks after the fact. Yet, some of the most popular options include:
- Stretch mark cream: Stretch mark creams typically include vitamin A and a base oil such as olive or coconut oil.
- Shea or cocoa butter: Shea and cocoa butter have long been a remedy for unwanted skin marks, including stretch marks.
- Massage: Massaging the breasts as you apply the cream encourages blood flow and collagen production. Regular massages for 30 seconds a session improves the skin. There is some evidence that this can help prevent stretch marks from forming in the first place.
- Exfoliation: Exfoliators also enhance collagen production as it sheds dead skin. This will also improve the appearance of the skin.
- Laser-based or radiofrequency treatment: Dermatologists use these technologies to generate collagen production in the skin and restore damaged elastin.
- Acid peels: Also offered in a clinic are acid peels. This process removes the top layer of skin where the unwanted marks are.
- Microdermabrasion: Clinicians do a gentle sanding of your skin to remove skin flaws.
- Collagen injections: As mentioned earlier, collagen production plays an important role for resilient skin as it makes the skin more supple and healthy. As women age, they produce less and less collagen, so for those who aren’t naturally producing it, injections help them get the benefits of collagen.
- Topical ointments: Skincare professionals may be able to recommend or prescribe potent topical ointments for your stretch marks. If you seek treatment, ask about this during your consultation.
There is hope to improve your skin once the stretch marks set in.
How to Prevent Stretch Marks on Breasts
Before we jump into tips on how to prevent stretch marks on breasts, we should mention that sometimes stretch marks are inevitable. So please don’t despair if you take preventative steps and still get stretch marks.
- Take care of your skin: Well-nourished skin is more likely to have the elasticity needed for resilience with rapid changes. You care for your skin by eating a healthy diet, staying hydrated, or taking supplements.
- Weight moderation: Get regular exercise and eat sensibly to prevent rapid weight gain. Remember that rapid weight loss also contributes to stretch marks, so opt for gradual weight loss.
- Use stretch mark cream with high-risk situations: Are you prone to stretch marks and get them no matter what you do? Are you pregnant? Get ahead of the problem by applying stretch mark cream to trouble spots before they form. Pregnant women should apply stretch mark cream to their bellies, breasts, thighs, and anywhere else that is expanding. This extra nourishment promotes elasticity and resilience.
Our Products Treat Common Pregnancy Conditions
We understand that women want their bodies to look a certain way, so when stretch marks cover a significant part of the skin (like your breasts) it can be disheartening.
We hope that the information above helps you. At Doctor Butler’s, we make an effective pregnancy spray for hemorrhoids and perineal tears during and after pregnancy. While not as visible as stretch marks, we know how difficult down-there pregnancy pains can be.