Striae is the medical term for stretch marks, which are the red- or white-striped skin markings that happen when someone has a change in the size of their body, such as with rapid weight gain or loss or with pregnancy. Less commonly, stretch marks can occur with rapid muscle bulking, such as with steroid use, or with some adrenal gland disorders. The most common place to see stretch marks is in the place where the skin has stretched, so in a pregnant woman this is the belly, in a teenage girl this is often the breasts or hips, and in a teenage boy this is often the arms or shoulders. The marks are permanent once they are formed, and there is no certain way to prevent or treat them.
Striae gravidarum, stretch marks in pregnancy, occur in about 90% of all pregnant women. They are primarily due to the rapid rate at which the skin is being stretched, combined with the influence of hormones.
Pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy (PUPPP) is the most common skin condition of pregnancy. Typically, women affected by PUPPP develop red, itchy bumps on the belly near stretch marks (striae) during their third trimester. PUPPP usually gets better within a few weeks after delivery, does not affect the health of your baby, and has no long-term consequences for you.
Acanthosis nigricans is a skin disorder in which the skin becomes abnormally darkened and thickened. The skin is often described as "velvety" because it remains soft despite thickening. These skin changes are most often found in body creases, such as the armpits and the back of the neck.Acanthosis nigricans is commonly seen in obese individuals and in those with some endocrine problems, such as diabetes. It is also associated with polycystic ovarian disease in women, though acanthosis nigricans can occasionally be found in people who have more serious underlying health problems or who are taking certain medications. Treatment of the underlying medical condition, including weight loss, usually resolves the skin lesions.
Psoriasis is a non-contagious, lifelong skin problem with thickened, red, and often scaly skin. It is very likely to be hereditary (run in families) and seems to be caused by errors in how the immune system works. Certain substances and situations (triggers) may cause psoriasis to flare or worsen. Triggers include injury to the skin, HIV/AIDS infection, certain drugs, emotional stress, smoking, and alcohol consumption. Psoriasis may also be triggered by infection with a type of bacteria called Streptococcus.
When you become pregnant, body changes are guaranteed. Your physique, moods, and energy levels will alter as your baby develops. Pregnant women also may encounter changes on their skin. A dark line extending vertically down the abdomen (linea nigra) is one example. Another common example is striae, also known as stretch marks.
Of all the common skin conditions caused by pregnancy, pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy, or PUPPP, is probably the one that women find the most frustrating. Similar to linea nigra and striae (stretch marks), PUPPP is benign and harmless to the mother and unborn child. However, this fact doesn't lessen the discomfort and often annoying effects on the skin caused by PUPPP.
A balanced diet is crucial for overall health. But do certain foods also have specific benefits for managing psoriasis? Many people with the disease believe so. However, research has yielded mixed results. Here’s what’s known about diet and psoriasis—and what’s not.