You’ve been scratching your head (and other places), wondering what’s going on because of itchy stretch marks. Fear not, you are not alone in experiencing tingly tiger stripes if you have stretch marks.
Usually, we hear about how to get rid of them, or alternately, we constantly hear messages of self-love encouraging us to appreciate and cherish our “tiger stripes.” While this is unquestionably accurate, shouldn’t we also acknowledge that stretch marks can be uncomfortable?
So let’s discuss the causes of itching skin and how to treat stretch marks.
Stretch marks that itch on the skin typically indicate three things:
- More are beginning to form
- Skin is recovering
- Skin dries out
Stretch marks that itch is nothing to be concerned about, especially when you’ve identified their precise cause and scratched the metaphorical itch.
Let’s talk more about stretch marks and their causes before we get to the root of your irritating skin.
How do stretch marks appear?
Small scars appear on the top layer of skin when the middle layer of skin (the dermis) stretches and tears, also known as dermal tearing (the epidermis). Stretch marks, also known as striae or, during pregnancy, striae gravidarum, if you’re a fancy science person, are what we refer to as these scars.
Skin stretching is typically caused by puberty, pregnancy, or anything else that promotes fast weight increase. Stretch marks are not an exception to the rule that a well-lived life leaves its mark, including sun-kissed freckles and smile lines around your eyes.
Stretch marks are a natural part of life, whether you got them from growing up or from growing into a person. Contrary to what tabloid publications and social media would have us believe, stretch marks are quite common and aren’t necessarily the result of significant weight gain. Stretch marks can appear on persons who put on a small amount of weight during adolescence or pregnancy.
Stretch marks can still be painful, even though they are quite normal, particularly when they are developing. We need to discuss the healing process and other typical skin changes in order to comprehend the causes of these itchy scars.
Do stretch marks indicate itching skin?
Stretch marks during pregnancy may be indicated by itchy skin, although this isn’t always the case. Increased pregnancy hormones and the expanding size of your expanding tummy might also cause dryness and itching for unrelated causes if you’re developing a little human.
However, stretch marks aren’t necessarily associated with itchy skin. Even those of us with a 12-step skincare routine packed with miraculous coconut oil-unicorn-blood moisturizing products are susceptible to terrible dehydration. Dry skin produces itchy skin.
Dry skin can be a result of several things, including allergies, skin pigment changes, skin diseases, drugs, illness, sun exposure, drying products, hot showers, and more. Fighting skin dryness is made easier by drinking water, using moisturizer, and avoiding sun exposure.
However, things can be a little bit more difficult when it comes to stretch marks that cause itching skin.
My stretch marks are irritating, why is that?
Your stretch marks may itch for a variety of reasons, such as stretched skin, dryness, weakened skin barriers, skin that is healing, and more. However, the two main reasons are dry skin and scars from tearing. Stretch marks and rapid weight gain are related, as we already know, but did you realize that reducing weight can also result in itchy stretch marks?
This is due to the fact that stretch marks frequently itch as they develop. The itching might worsen after any weight fluctuations, albeit it is more prevalent during the formation. This is due to the thinner, stretch-marked skin that resulted from the tearing. Because of the delicate surface’s exposed nerve effectors and increased sensitivity to stimuli, itchy skin results.
Your nerves cause an itch during the healing process as the skin rip is fixed. Additionally, dermal tearing results in skin dryness, which itches, particularly during pregnancy. On the skin’s surface, tiny pores develop that promote faster evaporation of fluids. So the dryer it becomes, the less moisture there is.
However, why is this harsher for expectant mothers?
Pregnancy hormones not only make us cry when we drop a spoon or put our keys in the refrigerator, but they can also irritate our striae gravidarum. The same factors that cause itching in non-pregnant persons also cause stretch marks to form in pregnant women. But there are a few other factors for your creepy complexion because being pregnant isn’t already challenging enough.
Our skin’s surface barrier weakens as pregnancy goes on, causing women to experience redness, blotchy skin, and many beautiful breakouts. Unfortunately, this also means that the tissue normally defending our skin is more fragile and prone to rupture, making stretch marks, dryness, and itching more likely.
A skin disease known as pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy (PUPPP), which is about as enjoyable to have as it is difficult to say, is another reason why stretch marks itch during pregnancy.
But do not worry. Although extremely unpleasant, the ailment is not serious. PUPPP is a raised rash with red, extremely irritating pimples that often develop right next to abdominal stretch marks. Not to worry. During pregnancy, there are numerous things you can do to treat stretch marks.
Of course, pregnancy isn’t the only reason for these issues. Itchy postpartum striae are also possible. It’s typical for an itchy stretch mark to linger even after the baby has been born since itchy stretch marks in postpartum PUPPP frequently don’t know when to go away.
This makes for a very unpleasant party, especially when combined with the surge of pregnancy hormones that occurs after delivery and the stress on your stomach. Labor itself can damage the outer layer of our skin, exposing more nerves beneath the stretch marks, which might itch for some time thereafter.
This could also lead to additional tears forming and dry skin on your abdomen, which is unfriendly to stretch marks as we all know. Although uncomfortable stretch marks may seem frightening, they are actually nothing to be concerned about!
While there is no way to completely prevent stretch marks, the correct therapies can significantly lessen itching.