Stretch Mark
Stretch Mark Guide

Learn about stretch marks

Woman with no stretch marks

Stretch marks are visual flaws in the skin that are caused by rapid weight gain and loss. Medically, they are called "striae," and are very common in pregnant women, people who are obese, body builders and in teenagers who experience growth spurts. Genetics play a big role in who will get stretch marks. If one or both of your parents have them, chances are you will get them. Some people wear stretch marks as badges of honor, to remind themselves of large weight losses or, for women, pregnancies. Stretch marks vary in size and severity and depend a person's age, skin elasticity, genetics and overall health.

Typically, stretch marks start out reddish in color and fade into a lighter pigmentation, much like a scar. If treated during those early stages, stretch marks respond better to topical treatments, which we cover in depth on our Stretch Mark Treatments page. On our Stretch Marks page, you will learn about who makes a good candidate for stretch mark treatment as well as how to prevent stretch marks.

While there is nothing medically wrong with stretch marks, their appearance can be unattractive, especially for women who like to wear two-piece bathing suits. Women who work hard to shed their post-pregnancy weight might feel self-conscious when their skin becomes streaked with striae. If you are bothered by them, you are not alone. Even though stretch marks are hard to track statistically, cosmetic surgery experts estimate that 75 to 90 percent of people are affected by them.

About Stretch Mark Guide

On, you will learn everything you need to know about preventing and getting rid of stretch marks. We'll walk you through preventative measures, and we'll inform you on the effectiveness of topical and surgical procedures to remove them. You'll learn about the costs associated with various treatments, which will help you decide which treatment is best for you. Once you've learned everything you need to know about preventing and eliminating stretch marks, use our Physician Locator to find a physician who treats stretch marks.

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