2. Purple or Pink Stretch Marks: Not Your Average Skin Change
Purple or pink stretch marks—medically known as striae—may appear on the skin’s surface and are often a cause for concern. Unlike typical stretch marks that might occur due to pregnancy or rapid weight changes, these marks are distinct in their color.
They appear vividly pinkish-purple, and they often materialize around the abdomen, thighs, and sometimes breasts. It’s not just a cosmetic issue. The specific color of these marks often sets off alarm bells for healthcare professionals well-versed in Cushing’s syndrome symptoms.
Why does this even happen? Again, cortisol is the culprit. The hormone has far-reaching impacts, one of which affects the skin’s natural elasticity.
The high cortisol levels lead to a reduction in collagen—the protein responsible for skin’s stretchiness and resilience. The result? When the skin stretches due to the rapid weight gain we discussed earlier, it doesn’t bounce back. This tearing of the skin layers leads to the purple or pink stretch marks commonly seen in Cushing’s syndrome.
And that’s not all. The stretch marks you encounter with Cushing’s syndrome are stubborn.
Unlike normal stretch marks, which fade over time, these tend to stick around. They often become a permanent part of your skin’s landscape, a daily visual reminder of a systemic issue.
They are not just unattractive; they symbolize a more profound underlying condition. If you ignore them or dismiss them as “just another skin issue,” you might be allowing Cushing’s syndrome to advance unimpeded. (2)