Stretch marks, sometimes referred to as striae, are an extremely frequent type of skin scarring brought on by abrupt stretching of the skin. They appear as parallel lines on the skin’s surface and can come in different shapes, sizes, and colors, including red, purple, or white. Stretch marks can affect both men and women of any age and are most commonly found on the abdomen, hips, buttocks, and thighs.

Below, learn about stretch marks, their causes, and possible preventive measures to help them fade.

The Appearance of Stretch Marks Can Vary

Stretch marks can appear fairly differently on each individual. Stretch marks can emerge as a single long, thin line in some persons or as clusters in others. Also possible are thick, angrier-looking lines. 

For those with a lighter complexion, the lines typically start out crimson or purple and eventually turn silver or white. Stretch marks may appear lighter than the normal skin tone in individuals with darker skin.

Stretch Marks Are Typically Brought On by Pregnancy

Striae gravidarum are pregnancy-related stretch marks. Your belly expands throughout pregnancy to make room for the developing fetus, stretching the skin.

Stretch marks can also appear on the thighs, hips, lower back, and buttocks while a woman is pregnant. According to some researchers, stretch marks are brought on by hormones that make skin more prone to ripping during pregnancy.

Some Medical Creams Can Bring On Stretch Marks

Over-the-counter corticosteroid lotions and ointments are available, but if used excessively or improperly, they can damage the skin’s connective tissue. Stretch marks develop as a result of this. 

Ask your pharmacist how to use a corticosteroid cream or ointment the right way if you use one. Long-term oral use of corticosteroids like prednisone can have a similar impact. 

You may be more susceptible to this kind of scarring if you have certain genetic disorders like Cushing’s syndrome or Marfan syndrome.

Stretch Marks Might Be Made to Appear Less Prominent

Stretch marks cannot be completely removed after they have developed, but there are steps you may take to minimize their appearance. Consult your doctor about your choices if stretch marks annoy you. 

Applying lotions containing retinoids is frequently the initial step in treatment. This kind of lotion might aid in rebuilding collagen and lessen the appearance of stretch marks if they are very recent.

Treatments for Cosmetic Stretch Marks May Be Helpful

A dermatologist may undertake some procedures in addition to retinoid creams to lessen the visibility of obvious stretch marks. The procedures involve laser and light therapy, which could also encourage the formation of collagen or elastin. 

A thin layer of skin can be removed with chemical peels, microdermabrasion, and laser therapy so that new skin can sprout. The scar tissue may also be removed with the aid of radiofrequency and ultrasound. 

Before you notice results, it can take multiple appointments and several kinds of procedures.

For Some Stretch Marks, Medical Intervention Is Necessary

Stretch marks don’t hurt and don’t have any negative health effects. If stretch marks bother a person, they may want to contact a dermatologist to talk about ways to make them less obvious. 

However, it’s always a good idea to chat with your doctor to rule out any health issues that you might not be aware of if you develop stretch marks without any clear explanation, such as weight increase or loss or pregnancy.


Stretch marks are a very common occurrence, and many people have them. They are usually caused by rapid weight gain or loss, pregnancy, or puberty. Although there is no foolproof technique to avoid them, eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and looking into aesthetic treatments can help. Ultimately, it is important to remember that stretch marks are completely normal and nothing to be worried about health-wise.

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