Stretch marks are the result of damaged elastin within the dermis layer of the skin. They are entirely harmless, but can look unpleasant and are notoriously difficult to treat.
Stretch marks appear especially with someone gains and then loses weight in a relatively short space of time. They are often associated with pregnant women, body builders and obese or overweight people who have successfully lost a lot of weight.
During the weight gain, the skin is stretched relatively quickly causing damage to the elastin. Stretch marks may initially look red or purplish and quite angry. This can fade over time to a white line. They also usually have quite a marked depression or groove in the surface of the skin.
Frequently Asked Questions
Stretch marks usually appear on the areas of the body which store the most fat, such as the tummy, legs, upper arms, hips, buttocks, thighs and breasts
Stretch marks are very common, particularly in women. It is thought around 90% of pregnant women develop stretch marks.
How long your stretch marks will last really depends on the severity of the stretch marks and whether you are genetically predisposed to scarring. For most people, stretch marks fade to a faint white mark over the years and aren’t particularly noticeable. For others, they may stay quite visible.