I have interesting information for you all, but not necessarily good news.
Years ago I saw a medical spot on TV news that said researchers think stretch marks are closely linked to hormones. That's all they said - no further details.
That makes total sense because even skinny people get them. However, many people *never* get them. I guess some of us are just cursed by the wrong level of whatever hormones cause one to be more prone to stretch marks.
Of course, the skin does get the marks during stretching. However, if they were simply caused by stretching of the skin, everyone would have them (growth spurts, etc). Plenty of very heavy people, bodybuilders, and mothers have flawless skin. My sister is one of the lucky ones - weight fluctuations, and one child but no marks, not one!
I am 41 yrs old and have had stretch marks on my thighs, hips, breasts, buttocks, and a few under my arms since puberty. During pregnancy I got them on my lower stomach.
*I don't believe dry skin has anything to do with it as I have always had oily skin and have no wrinkles, though I'm 41 yrs old and don't use lotions, oils or creams. Neither have I suffered from dry, cracked, or itchy skin on other parts of my body, though I don't use creams there, either.
My son has stretch marks from his ankles to his hips, all sides of his legs. He's very thin, but above height for his age. His stretch marks appeared during puberty, a couple of years ago. They were red, and very prominent.
He was very worried about the marks, but I assured him they'd fade, and being a guy, he could have leg hair to hide them. Well, two years later, there isn't much to hide. His marks have faded so much that you have to look very closely to see them.
Mine are still noticeable, but I don't believe there's anything that can truly get rid of them (I hope I'm wrong!). Though, thankfully, time has faded and softened them a great deal.
I use to try all the creams and potions (including pure cocoa butter, castor oil, and Vit.E ). I would use a product religiously for many months but nothing helped. I think it often seems to help but, in reality, the marks are simply fading on their own.
When I was slimmer and younger, despite the marks, I wore bikinis, mini skirts, tank tops, etc. Guys never seemed turned off at all. As a matter of fact, I was very popular, and often complimented. I was never low on dates (and no, I wasn't a tart!:)
It's my personal opinion, and experience that kind, intelligent people won't judge you, or be turned off based on *something you have no control over*. That's like avoiding, or making fun of someone because he/she has a handicap - it doesn't make sense! The rest who can't handle anything less that perfection, well, I've never missed them.
Sure, I'd love a potion or pill to rid me of these marks, but I'd much rather have a cure for my severe back injury, or a plan that would feed the world's hungry, or heal the planet.
In the grand scheme of things, I've learned to only be bugged a little by the stretch marks, and to save my deep emotions for bigger issues.
I truly feel for you all, and wish you happiness (and a cure!).