Stretch marks, or striae, on the buttocks can be embarrassing and difficult to hide---especially if wearing a swim suit. Although they can occur on anyone, MayoClinic.com explains that stretch marks occur more often in Caucasian women who have a family history of stretch marks. Because these marks can be damaging to the self-esteem, it is important to understand what causes them to occur and how they can be treated.
MayoClinic.com notes that stretch marks are indented, pink, purplish or reddish lines that can appear anywhere on the body---including the buttocks. They can also appear as bright streaks that fade from pink to grayish or white in color. These streaks may appear as a single line or consecutive parallel lines stretched across the skin. Stretch marks can be localized to one area or spread over large areas of the body.
According to the KidsHealth website, stretch marks occur when the skin is stretched by rapid growth. Although skin is elastic-like in texture, the collagen that holds together the connective tissues can become damaged when it is overstretched. A scar, called a stretch mark, develops as a result. Common causes of stretch marks include obesity, pregnancy weight gain, muscle and weight gain created by weight lifting and the repeated use of topical steroid ointments or high dosed oral corticosteroids.
There are several medications and procedures that can help lessen the appearance of stretch marks on the buttocks. Tretinoin cream works by rebuilding collagen and helping stretch marks blend into your skin. A dermatological procedure called pulsed dye laser therapy uses light to remodel the skin of the stretch mark and encourage new elastin and collagen growth. Although this therapy works well on new stretch marks, it can also be used on older ones as well.
To reduce the appearance of stretch marks, KidsHealth suggests using a sunless tanning lotion or spray. This can help match the color of the stretch mark to the rest of your skin tone. Tanning in the sun or using a tanning bed will not work the same way---not only is this bad for your skin, stretch marks do not usually tan. Or consider purchasing water-resistant body makeup to cover up the stretch marks.
There are many products that claim to be able to remedy or prevent stretch marks. Active ingredients can include vitamin E, cocoa butter or glycolic acid. Although these ingredients are not harmful to the skin, MayoClinic.com explains that they are not usually effective on stretch marks. Stretch marks typically fade on their own over time without any intervention. But if you do decide to try an over-the-counter stretch mark product, check with your doctor---especially if you are pregnant.