Stretch marks can be a problem that plagues many, and is surprisingly common. If you find yourself asking the question “Why do I have stretch marks on my bum?“, let me assure you, you’re not alone.

stretch marks on bum
Stretch marks on the buttocks cheeks are very common in women. image credit: Jacklee via Wikimedia Commons cc

While they have no health disadvantages – making them a strictly cosmetic issue, they can be perceived as unsightly and many seek to diminish the visibility of their stretch marks for this very reason.

The butt is one of the prime spots that can be affected by stretch marks. As part of your better butt project you may want to get rid of your stretch marks forever!

It’s very possible to reduce the severity of your stretch marks to the point where they are hardly visible.

Read on to learn more about what stretch marks are, what causes them and how to prevent and treat them.

What are Stretch Marks?

Stretch marks, or striae as they are known in the dermatological world, are visible striped line markings on the skin formed when skin ‘stretches’. They are actually a type of scarring that occurs in the dermis, the middle layer of the skin.

dermis
image credit: BruceBlaus via Wikimedia Commons cc

 

The striped appearance can range in color and texture depending on the age of the marks. Initially, newer stretch marks are usually red, pink or brown and can have a raised appearance, and they often fade to purple or blue before turning a silvery white color as they age. Some stretch marks can flatten out or even become sunken compared to the surrounding skin.

They nearly always appear in multiples of long stripes, leading some to affectionately refer to them as ‘tiger stripes’.

tiger stripes

What Causes Stretch Marks?

Rapid growth or weight changes can occur at a rate too fast for the skin to keep up, and the resulting tears that occur in the dermis cause the visible marks we know as stretch marks.

Skin is elastic, but it does have its limits. The dermis contains a network of connective tissue fibers that give elasticity and structure to the skin.

Rapid growth can overstretch and break the fiber network in the dermis which leads to visible exposure of the underlying tissue and blood vessels through the dermis – which is why new stretch marks have a red/pink/purple appearance. It eventually fades to white as the blood vessels contract and the fatty tissue is left behind.

Striae
Purple colored stretch marks can be quite obvious on the skin. image credit: PanoramicTiger via Wikimedia Commons cc

Hormones can play a role in causing stretch marks, as they can affect collagen levels in the skin. Collagen is a protein found in the dermis and responsible for skin strength and elasticity; the less collagen you have, the more likely the dermis is to tear under conditions of rapid change.

Who is Susceptible to Getting Stretch Marks?

If your body is likely to undergo rapid changes in size, you are susceptible to stretch marks as the skin stretches with your body shape.

Pregnant women are particularly at risk of getting stretch marks around the belly as it expands and also around the hips and bum if they put on weight during their pregnancy. Altered hormone levels can also further weaken the skin.

stretch marks on belly
Stretch marks on pregnant woman’s belly image credit: File Upload Bot (Magnus Manske) via Wikimedia Commons cc

Teenagers going through puberty are also at risk of getting stretch marks as the rapid growth associated with puberty can lead to expansion of the skin and stretch marks developing around the hips, bum, thighs and breasts for females. Males are more likely to develop stretch marks in the upper arm region, shoulders, and back.

Bodybuilders and those dieting to lose weight quickly can also develop stretch marks as the body may change rapidly in size during these processes.

Finally, those who may be using corticosteroids at a heavy dosage or for prolonged periods, may be susceptible to stretch mark formation as use of the medication can decrease the amount of collagen in the dermis, making it less elastic.

What Can I Do About Them?

So far we’ve talked about the causes of stretch marks and who might be at risk of getting them,  but what if you already have stretch marks?

One of the simplest things you can do is start using a good stretch mark treatment cream, of which there are a bunch available:

We’ll have a look at how to use these creams, as well as other techniques for removing stretch marks in Part 2 – Preventing and Treating Stretch Marks – where you’ll learn even more actionable tips for how to help make these fade away.

 

Why Do I Have Stretch Marks?

17 thoughts on “Why Do I Have Stretch Marks?

  • October 16, 2014 at 6:48 pm
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    I’ve got a few too many of those from when I was heavier. Thanks for the good information!!

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  • September 25, 2016 at 5:13 pm
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    I had suddenly started getting huge purple stretch marks down the insides of my thighs when I started losing weight, I used the somauxe firming lotion for about 2-3 weeks and my stretch marks are totally invisible now. You really have to look very closely to see the faint white lines! I know it’s not intended for stretch marks as much as some of their other products, but I’d highly recommend it.

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    • September 27, 2016 at 9:55 am
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      Thanks for sharing this! Was this the product that you were using? I actually have never heard of Somaluxe before, but it’s good to know that this product actually worked for you! I noticed they also do a stretch mark cream, so that might be even more effective!

      Reply
  • March 7, 2017 at 6:28 am
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    Dermelastic serum has actually reduced the appearance of stretch marks on my upper thighs ( courtesy of pregnancy ) I will definitely be getting more – I only wish it smelled a little nicer, but I guess I would rather have a blandly smelling serum instead of something loaded with artificial fragrances.

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  • May 4, 2017 at 11:43 am
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    I am delighted with Dermelastic serum. I am seeing improvements for sure. I know I have a ways to go in making the appearance of my stretch marks better, but your product is certainly aiding in my efforts. My skin is smoother and the stretch marks are fading.

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    • May 5, 2017 at 10:54 am
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      Hi Claire, thanks for that feedback! I hadn’t heard of Dermelatic serum before you and Svetlanda commented, but I have posted a link to it in the Part 2 series since you’ve both reported some good improvements using it. Thanks!

      Reply
  • September 13, 2017 at 2:33 am
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    I just randomly got stretch marks on my butt. I am a male and my butt has barely gotten bigger so I am confused as to why it happened.

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    • September 15, 2017 at 3:23 pm
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      Hi Camron, sounds strange – did you happen to lose weight recently or has your butt changed in size at all? The underlying cause of stretch marks is usually if the skin has undergone rapid changes, and this could even include losing weight.

      Reply
  • October 6, 2017 at 6:58 pm
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    So you can get stretch marks from either gaining weight or losing weight ?

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    • October 7, 2017 at 9:20 am
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      Yeah that’s pretty much it from what I understand. Basically any time your skin has to undergo a drastic change in shape (when you’ve either lost or gained a lot of weight in a short time) and it essentially can’t keep up with the changes so it stretches.

      It seems a little counter-intuitive that you could get stretch marks from losing weight, but I have heard of stories from some people where it can happen.

      Reply
  • March 31, 2018 at 7:42 pm
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    Hello. Umm that is a akward question to ask but… I have streatch marks on my but and upper legs. I am 14 and I have a boyfriend. We decided to take another step. (If you know what I mean). So he hasn’t seen my streatch marks. And I don’t think he ever has on other girls. So I don’t know how will he react. Maybe I should prepare him for that or something. I don’t really know. So maybe you would be very kind and tell me some ways of not scaring him with them. Thank you

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    • April 2, 2018 at 1:39 pm
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      Hi Liza,
      You may be able to say something about them beforehand if you’re worried. Maybe even be straight-up with him and tell him that you’re insecure about this. If he knows that you’re self-conscious about it, at least he’ll know not to say anything that might come off as hurtful (even if he didn’t mean it). I remember back when I was dating my boyfriend in the early days, we happened to have a conversation once about both of our insecurities and listed all the things we didn’t like about our bodies to each other. Hearing him tell me that some of the things I was worried about didn’t bother him at all (and even that he in fact liked some of them), and vice-versa was really quite liberating, made us both feel accepted and strengthened our relationship. If he is a good guy he won’t care. If he does, then maybe that’s a sign. Good luck!

      Reply
  • May 1, 2018 at 10:39 am
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    Okay so maby its not the right website to ask but how do I tell my mom that I want to shave my legs? I am 13 becoming 14 this June. I am not a blonde so my leg hairs are visible. Summer is coming up and I am self consious about my legs. I hate wearing shorts or skirts on any clothing peases that show my legs. So. How do I convince my mom to let me shave my legs?

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    • May 2, 2018 at 12:39 pm
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      Hi Hanah!
      I struggled with exactly the same problem as you when I was your age, so I totally understand how this can feel like an incredibly awkward situation with your mom and also really embarrassing having noticeable leg hair. I would recommend that you just sum up your courage and ask her straight up. If she does any kind of hair removal on her legs herself, she will totally understand and just realize that you’re growing up. One of my good friends has always said, “it’s only weird/uncomfortable/embarrassing if you make it so” – meaning that if you say it like it’s not a strange/embarrassing request, it really isn’t.
      When I went through this, it felt even more difficult because my mom has never actually had to remove hair from her legs at all (blessed to be pretty hairless), so she probably thought it was weird that I would want to shave mine since it’s not a normal thing for her. I eventually just asked if I could buy some hair wax one day when we went shopping together. Also, if your mom is against shaving for whatever reason, maybe she would be OK with you waxing or using an epilator for leg hair removal. I hope this helps and good luck!

      Reply
  • May 15, 2018 at 7:41 pm
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    Its important to mention that stretch marks aren’t ugly! They are totally natural and almost everyone has them. Instead of using these expensive creams and other solutions, learn to love yourself for the way that you are. What makes a person human is their scars.

    Reply
    • May 18, 2018 at 6:06 am
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      Yes – totally agree with you here Camilla! It’s true that stretch marks aren’t exactly portrayed as ‘beautiful’ (or even really shown at all) in the media, but you’re right – it’s more common for women to have them than not. I even know a few of my male friends who have them too. This post is for people who might be looking for a practical solution to reducing the look of stretch marks, but I guess I neglected to mention the simplest solution of all – changing your mindset to learn to love your marks instead, which is just as viable an option!

      Reply

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