Stretch marks. You're probably cringing just reading the words.
If you've ever had them, you may be part of the multi-billion dollar industry built around trying to get rid of them.
But can you find out if you're genetically pre-disposed to get them?
Mountain View personal genetics company 23andMe says yes. The company's Director of Research Joyce Tung, PhD led a team that identified four genetic markers associated with stretch marks. Almost 34,000 people were analyzed; the results in full detail are published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology.
In brief, the study says 23and Me was able to figure out why some people are more susceptible to getting stretch marks (both men and women, by the way). Yes, pregnancy and rapid weight gain are factors, but genetics also plays a role.
The research done by 23andMe also found some evidence that methods to clear up stretch marks can be improved as well.
It's got the newsroom talking. I'm guessing it'll have your workplace talking as well. All this from a company, and an industry, that's stretching the boundaries of what we know.
Scott stretches on Twitter: @scottbudman