Stretch marks are common and harmless and often get less visible over time, but some people don’t like how their skin looks. They are standard streaks on the breast, abdomen, hips, or other body parts. They are more common in pregnant women, especially during their third (last) trimester.
Stretch marks causes
The common reason behind stretch marks is weight gain or sudden growth; the other common causes are:
- Undergoing puberty
- Unintentional weight loss or abrupt weight loss
- If you are a female
- Obesity or overweight
- If you use certain types of steroid tablets or cream
- If your family member has stretch marks
In rare cases, stretch marks appear due to Cushing’s syndrome.
Stretch marks treatments
They typically fade away over time but might not completely disappear. There are lotions and creams to reduce, remove, or prevent them, but there is very little evidence to back them up.
Some treatments might help stretch marks look better but not help to get rid of them. Those include:
- Tretinoin (retinoid) cream or hyaluronic acid: These help with new stretch marks, but avoid using them when you are pregnant since there are chances that it may harm your baby.
- Laser or light treatments
- Microdermabrasion (removes a thin layer of skin)
Consult a doctor if
You have large stretch marks and:
- There is more fat on your abdomen and chest, but slim legs and arms.
- Fat builds up on your back, neck, and shoulders.
- Your face becomes red, puffy, and rounded.
These can be symptoms of Cushing’s syndrome.
Reviewed by – Dr. Priyanka, MBBS MD Microbiology
Page last reviewed: 16 JULY 2022