January 27, 2010,
S.M. asks from Telluride, CO on January 25, 2010
Teenager Has Stretch Marks??
My teenage daughter has stretch marks. They are pretty obvious, red stretch marks on her inner thighs, hips, butt and breasts...She's had a few on her hips for years, that I mistakenly attributed to underwear lines. She is very fit and has never had an issue with her weight. I have always thought stretch marks were a result of skin stretching during pregnancy or from being overweight. She is extremely self conscious about this-to the extent that she "hates the beach" and pools and any activity that might mean she has to expose some skin. I am looking for any ideas on what to do with her skin...and/or her self image as a result of her skin?? Thanks so much!
M.H. answers from Denver on January 26, 2010
I got them as a teenager, from growing quickly. A diet high in good omega 3 fatty acids can help skin elasticity. You might try a fish oil supplement. I still hate my stretch marks, and nothing I know of will take them away. She should be aware that if she has them now, she will most likely get them pretty bad when she does get pregnant.
J.P. answers from Boise on January 26, 2010
Wow, that sounds like me. I had them as a teenager, and wasn't overweight, I wasn't even tall, just hit puberty late and got them on all my curves. It really sucked, and I was VERY self conscious. I rarely showed my body in public. Then I saw one of the "popular" girls in PE (swimming), and saw that she had them too, and that she couldn't care less. I had low self esteem, but it did make me feel better to realize that other people my age had them too. I eventually got to accept them, but of course, don't love them. They are less noticable when your skin looks tanner, even when they are still red.
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K.L. answers from Great Falls on January 26, 2010
One of the thinnest, fittest people I know has stretch marks on the inside's of her knees from growing quickly as a teenager, but they are so faint and faded now that no one but her are even aware of them. I know how self conscious teenagers can be (I was one of them) and I truly feel for her. I agree that the key to possibly reducing the occurrence of them is to stay hydrated and try to improve her skins elasticity. LOTS of water and maybe even some vitamin E oil for her skin? BUT that still may not help if she is going through major growth spurts so more than anything you should just make her aware that she is not alone, maybe seeing her doctor and getting a more professional explanation might help. As far as the beach/pool thing, maybe you two could go shopping for a suit that is a little more covering, but still very cool....try telling her that a more sophisticated suit will not only distract from those areas, but also might make her look a bit older....and maybe a super cute sarong cover up? Good luck and I hope things get better for her!
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S.R. answers from Salt Lake City on January 25, 2010
I agree with Ina, I got them growing up and I was extremely thin, and average height but because of the lack of elasticity in my skin I got them. I found by applying fake tanning lotion(be sure to exfoliate first), it blended my skin and you couldn't see anything. I never kept up on it because I eventually learned how to accept my body the way it was.
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C.T. answers from Pocatello on January 26, 2010
My husband has them too. He's had them for a while. Sometimes teenagers can get them when they have a growth spurt. Growing at a fast rate can stretch the skin a little.
R.D. answers from Pittsburgh on January 25, 2010
Totally normal. My youngest sister got stretch marks at 15 or 16 also on her thighs, butt and breasts. She is not overweight at all she is 5' 10" and like 140 lbs or so. It is just from growing too fast, just like in pregnancy, in those areas. At that afe my sister had a big growth spurt, she got somewhere around 3 inches taller and grew 1 or 2 cup sizes, hence the stretch marks. I also recently had a baby and swear by vitamin E lotion, the more solid body butter in a jar seems to work best. Palmer's cocoa butter lotion is great but really anything that is vitamin E works. I thing I used queen helen shea butter with vit. E. I don't have any stretch marks on my belly from using the lotion everyday and it is totally diminishing the marks on my thighs and butt. My husband was so mazed he started using it on his sides. Hope it helps.
J.P. answers from Denver on January 26, 2010
Just like everyone else I am a little tiny thing that got stretch marks from growing too quickly when I hit puberty. They do fade with time. If she is still growth spurting then taking omega 3 fatty acids (found in fish oil among other things) will help her skin stretch from the inside and limit or totally stop the stretch marks--as well as plenty of water. Some say it is genetic, but I found diet makes a huge difference. As a teenager I got them, but after gaining 41 pounds and 38 pounds with my two pregnancies, and my waist growing 12 inches, I didn't get a single stretch mark. The nutrition will help the stretch marks fade more quickly as well.
Hope this helps!!
K.H. answers from Washington DC on January 25, 2010
Yes they are more common in pregnancy and if you are overweight , but you can also get them from from normal growth. I got them on my inner thighs as a teen as I grew in height very quickly. The amount of stretch marks you get depends on how subtle your skin is. I would advise her to make sure she uses a moisturizer every day after bathing to keep the skin hydrated. To help initially with the appearance of the marks you could buy her some bio oil , this is used for scars and stretch marks and can help to fade them. They will fade over time anyway (mine are white now) but no they will never go away unfortunately.
Hope this helps
K.K. answers from Great Falls on January 26, 2010
I can only recommend that she stay hydrated as I believe that water makes skin more elastic and as she keeps going and changing her skin will hopefully be able to grow with her. Luckily there are a number of different styles of swimwear and she could wear boardshort style tankini to be able to enjoy the beach more covered up, but not "uncool".