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Why Do Stretch Marks Itch? Causes and Proven Treatment Tips

Adriana Bailey • May, 2023

Why Do Stretch Marks Itch? Causes And Proven Treatment Tips 

Adriana Bailey • May, 2023

As we grow and change, our skin adapts to the transformation of our bodies. Our skin may get stretch marks throughout this process, a common issue affecting many people. But do stretch marks itch, and is it normal for stretch marks to itch? The short answer is yes, and it is completely normal for stretch marks to itch since skin stretching may result in dryness and irritation.

Itching is a common symptom associated with stretch marks and can be a real pain. In this article, we will explain what causes stretch marks to itch and how to stop stretch marks from itching effectively.

Table Of Contents

  • What are Stretch Marks?
  • Causes of Itchy Stretch Marks
  • Tips on How To Stop Stretch Marks from Itching
  • Common Myths About Itchy Stretch Marks
  • FAQs on Itchy Stretch Marks

What are Stretch Marks?

Stretch marks are a common skin condition characterized by streaks or stripes on the skin, which may appear red, pink, purple, or white. They may be separated into two main stages based on their formation and appearance: 

  • Striae Rubrae, also known as red stretch marks, are freshly created lines on the skin that can appear as red, pink, or purple lines owing to the fast stretching of the skin and the visibility of underlying blood vessels. These lines may fade to a silvery-white tone over time. 
  • Striae Albae, or white stretch marks, are older and colorless stretch marks that show on the skin as white or silver lines produced by continuous skin straining, resulting in damaged underlying collagen fibers. Although they are less visible than red stretch marks, they might be more difficult to cure.

They can occur for various reasons; some of the most common causes of stretch marks include:

  • Pregnancy
  • Weight gain or loss
  • Growth spurts during puberty
  • Bodybuilding
  • Genetics

Stretch marks appear when the skin is stretched beyond its natural limits, causing the collagen fibers in the dermis to be damaged. The dermis is the skin's middle layer, which includes connective tissues that give the skin strength and flexibility. When the dermis is stretched excessively, it rips and causes scars known as stretch marks.

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4 Causes of Itchy Stretch Marks

One common question people have is, "why do stretch marks itch?". While stretch marks themselves may not be itchy, they can become itchy due to various factors. Here are three common causes of itchy stretch marks:

Dermal Tearing

One of the reasons why stretch marks itch is dermal tearing. When the dermis is stretched beyond its natural limit, it tears, resulting in stretch marks. This tearing can also cause irritation of the skin's nerve endings, resulting in itching.

Dermal tearing usually affects the upper layer of the skin, called the epidermis, and the second layer called the dermis. It typically occurs on the arms, legs, hands, and feet, but it can also occur on the face and other body parts. It is common among older adults and people with fragile skin due to underlying medical conditions.

Dry Skin

Stretch marks might become itchy as a result of dry skin. When the skin is dry, it becomes less elastic and more prone to tearing when stretched. This can make it easier for stretch marks to form, which aggravates the skin and causes further discomfort. Aside from elasticity loss, dry skin can create itching, leading to scratching. Scratching can cause further skin damage and increase the likelihood of acquiring stretch marks. Furthermore, dry skin might make existing stretch marks more visible.

Hormonal Changes

The other reason why stretch marks can become itchy is hormonal changes in the body, such as those that occur during pregnancy or puberty. These hormonal changes might make your skin more sensitive, causing itching and irritation. In addition to pregnancy and puberty, hormonal changes can occur due to medical conditions like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), which affect hormone levels and can lead to problems. skin problems such as acne and stretch marks.

Allergies and Other Conditions

Individuals with pre-existing skin conditions, such as eczema and psoriasis, may be more prone to experiencing itchy stretch marks since their skin is already sensitive. Eczema is a chronic inflammatory skin condition that causes redness, itching, and skin scaling. The itching and irritation associated with eczema can make stretch marks itchier and more uncomfortable.

Similarly, psoriasis is a persistent skin condition that causes raised, scaly areas to appear on the skin. These patches can be itchy and irritating, and if they form near stretch marks, they can aggravate the stretch marks.Aside from pre-existing skin conditions, sensitivities to chemicals such as soaps, detergents, or textiles can also trigger itchy stretch marks. Allergic responses occur when the immune system overreacts to a specific chemical, resulting in inflammation and itching.

6 Tips on How To Stop Stretch Marks from Itching

Fortunately, there are several ways to relieve itchy stretch marks. Here are the most effective methods: 

Use Topical Creams and Ointments

Topical creams and ointments can help reduce itching and inflammation. If you wonder what to put on itchy stretch marks, look for products that contain ingredients like hydrocortisone, retinoids, and vitamin E, which can help reduce inflammation and itching.

For stretch marks itch relief, you can also consider using Evertone’s high-quality body smoother, which contains ingredients like glycolic acid and Vitamin E. This helps exfoliate dead cells and stimulate cell renewal.

If you're itching from stretch marks, try products with hydrocortisone, which can be found in over-the-counter lotions and ointments, retinoids, or vitamin E to help soothe and moisturize the affected area and reduce the appearance of stretch marks by stimulating collagen production. 

*It's important to note that some of these treatments have potential side effects or may not be recommended for certain groups, such as pregnant or breastfeeding women.

Moisturize Your Skin

Moisturizing your skin regularly can also help to reduce itching. Use a good quality moisturizer, or try a natural product that contains:

  • Cocoa butter
  • Shea butter
  • Coconut oil
  • Aloe vera gel
  • Vitamin E oil

When choosing a moisturizer or natural product to use on your stretch marks, look for ingredients like these that can provide hydration and soothing relief for your skin. You can try Evertone’s premium body refresher, which hydrates and nurtures skin due to the ingredients like Vitamin E, A, etc. 

Try Oatmeal Baths

Taking oatmeal baths can also help soothe itchy stretch marks. For that:

  • Begin by adding a cup of uncooked oatmeal to a warm bathtub. Make sure the water is not excessively hot since this might cause skin dryness and itching.
  • Soak in the bath for 15-20 minutes after adding the oats to the water. This will allow the oatmeal to do its magic and soothe your skin.
  • After your bath, pat your skin dry with a clean towel. Avoid rubbing your skin too hard since this will irritate it worse.

Use Sunscreen

Protecting your skin from the sun can also help to reduce itching. Exposure to the sun can make stretch marks more noticeable and increase their itchiness. Protect your skin by wearing sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher whenever you are outdoors.

Massage Therapy

Consider having massages on a regular basis to enhance circulation and reduce inflammation in the afflicted region. Massage therapy has a number of advantages for itching stretch marks. Firstly, it can help increase blood flow and circulation to the afflicted region, which helps reduce inflammation and speed up the healing process. Secondly, massage treatment can help relieve tension, which can aggravate skin problems and cause itching. Finally, massage can promote skin moisture by increasing the absorption of moisturizers and releasing natural oils.

Home Remedies

To alleviate stretch mark itchiness, try these DIY remedies:

  • Sugar scrub: Mix equal parts of white sugar and coconut oil. Exfoliate dead skin cells and stimulate circulation by gently massaging the mixture into your stretch marks in a circular manner.
  • Apple cider vinegar: Dilute apple cider vinegar with water and apply with a cotton ball on stretch marks. The vinegar's acetic acid can aid in relieving itching and irritation.
  • Lemon juice: Lemon juice's natural acids can help exfoliate dead skin cells while stimulating cell renewal. Apply fresh lemon juice to stretch marks and let it sit for 10-15 minutes before washing with warm water.
  • Shea butter and cocoa butter: To prepare a moisturizing cream for stretch marks, combine equal parts shea butter and cocoa butter. Both substances have natural antioxidants and anti-inflammatory qualities that can aid in the reduction of irritation and foster the process of healing.

3 Common Myths About Itchy Stretch Marks

Despite the fact that stretch marks are a relatively common skin condition, there are still a lot of myths and misconceptions surrounding them. Here are three of the most common myths about itchy stretch marks and the truth behind them.

Myth 1: Itchy Stretch Marks Mean They are Healing

Many people wonder, “do stretch marks itch when healing?”: one of the most common myths about itchy stretch marks is that they are a sign that the marks are healing. However, itching frequently indicates that the skin is still stretched and that stretch marks are forming. If you experience itching or pain as a result of stretch marks, it is critical that you get treatment to alleviate your symptoms and prevent the markings from worsening.

Myth 2: Scratching Itchy Stretch Marks is Harmless

Scratching itchy stretch marks is a typical mistake that many individuals make. While it may be tempting to scratch itchy stretch marks, doing so can actually make the itching worse. Scratching can irritate the skin, making it more sensitive and prone to further itching. Instead of scratching, try using a cold compress or applying a topical anti-itch cream to the affected area.

Myth 3: Itchy Stretch Marks Only Occur During Pregnancy

While pregnancy is one of the most prevalent causes of stretch marks, it is not the only one. Stretch marks can form as a result of fast weight gain or loss, hormone changes, and a range of other circumstances. Stretch marks may appear on anyone, regardless of age or gender.

Final Thoughts

Understanding the reasons and various treatment options is critical for effectively managing itchy stretch marks. We are sure you now have all the answers to the "why do stretch marks itch" question. By following the steps introduced in this article, you may feel more confident in your skin and prevent the aggravation of irritating stretch marks. Maintaining a healthy weight, frequent moisturizing, and hydration can also help prevent the formation of stretch marks. Don't fall for popular misconceptions; love and take charge of your skin with information and tried-and-true treatment alternatives.

FAQs on Itchy Stretch Marks

Why do stretch marks itch when losing weight?

Stretch marks might become itchy after losing weight because the skin stretches as fat cells decrease. As the skin is pushed taut, it can become dry and irritated, causing pain and itching. Additionally, quick fat loss might cause a reduction in skin suppleness, exacerbating the symptoms of itchy stretch marks.

Do stretch marks itch when gaining weight?

Yes, stretch marks can itch as you gain weight for the same reason - the skin is stretched as fat cells develop. The quick stretching of the skin can cause dryness and itching, creating discomfort and irritation.

Why do my stretch marks itch at night?

Stretch marks may itch more at night due to the natural increase in blood flow to the skin during sleep. This enhanced circulation might cause greater sensitivity and irritation. Furthermore, when the skin is heated and sweaty, it might aggravate the symptoms of itchy stretch marks. Applying a cold compress or using a fan to keep the area cool and dry will help relieve the pain.

Can men get stretch marks?

While stretch marks are more typically associated with women, they can appear in anybody with significant weight gain or reduction, adolescent growth spurts, or muscle strengthening. Stretch marks are commonly found on men's arms, chest, back, and thighs.

Do people with darker skin get more stretch marks?

Stretch marks are frequently more visible in those with darker complexion since their skin contains more melanin. They are normally reddish or purple lines that fade to a lighter tone over time, although on darker skin, they may be noticeable even after they have faded.

Adriana Bailey

Meet our talented content writer Adriana Bailey. She has dedicated her career to creating informative, engaging, and relevant content for readers who want to learn more about the latest beauty products and techniques.In her free time, Adriana enjoys experimenting with new makeup styles or researching inspiration in the latest beauty trends.

Drop element here

Adriana Bailey

Meet our talented content writer Adriana Bailey. She has dedicated her career to creating informative, engaging, and relevant content for readers who want to learn more about the latest beauty products and techniques.In her free time, Adriana enjoys experimenting with new makeup styles or researching inspiration in the latest beauty trends.