Stretch marks are also known as Striae and are a form of scarring on the skin. Overtime, these marks may diminish, but will never disappear completely. Sometimes stretchmarks could signal a medical condition including either a pelvic disorder or breast cancer.
Women who have stretch marks on their body may face triple the risk of having a pelvic disorder known as pelvic prolapse.
A new study suggests women who suffer with this blemish are more at risk compared to women with unblemished skin.
Pelvic prolapse is a weakening of the web muscles at the base of the pelvis which is important for holding the pelvic organs in place including the uterus and bladder.
The condition can result in pain, loss of bladder control, and in some cases could lead to the organs sliding down from where they should be held.
The researchers say that a compromised ability to produce connective tissue may explain the link they found between the skin and pelvic disorders, said New Scientist.
It continued: “Changes such as pregnancy, puberty or significant weight gain can stretch the skin, disrupting the production of collagen protein that gives skin its strength and elasticity.
“The scars left as a result of this disruption – stretch marks – typically appear as lightly coloured lines in places where fat is stored, including the thighs or abdomen.
“But while many people see this as purely a cosmetic problem, medical experts now say that stretch marks could indicate a more serious underlying problem.”
A mother revealed how she was in ‘disbelief’ when doctors confirmed a small dent on her breast which she had simply dismissed as a stretch mark was in fact a sign of cancer.
Demelza Jefferis, 42, had been getting out the shower when she had noticed the mark on her cleavage.
Mrs Jefferis dismissed it as just another stretch mark and didn’t think too much of it.
However, she later took a closer look and realised it was a small dent that only appeared when her arm was raised.
Mrs Jefferis decided to speak to her doctor about this discovery and was told she would need further testing.
“They removed the lump and a couple of lymph nodes from my armpit,” she explained.
“They sent those away for testing to make sure it was clear.
“My consultant had said to me that I was really lucky as I had caught it early and had said I was lucky to have found what I did.”
After two weeks of radiotherapy, Mrs Jefferis completed her treatment and is now urging other women to be vigilant of any strange marks or dents.
Skin expert Nicole Zysk said of stretch marks: “Unfortunately there are no natural remedies that will definitely improve stretch marks except for some essential oils which could improve a person’s texture.
“In terms of stretch marks fading on their own, they may to a very small extent look less visible, however in others they can look even more visible depending on a person’s skin elasticity.
“By undergoing certain treatments and implementing combinations of techniques, stretchmarks could become firmer by making the skin tighter to improve the overall texture.
“It will also improve new life to damaged tissue by creating new collagen, new cells and melanin which are all responsible for the colour and the skin’s natural pigmentation to come back.”
If you have noticed any new marks, imperfections, dents or stretch marks it’s important to speak with your GP about the cause.
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