Stretch marks are long, narrow streaks, stripes or lines that develop on the skin and which differ in hue from the surrounding skin. They are the result of a sudden stretching of the skin and are extremely common. Anyone can develop stretch marks, although they tend to affect more women than men.
The most common areas affected are the:
Stretch marks are not medically dangerous, but can be a cause of aesthetic concern and anxiety. For some people, stretch marks are such a significant cosmetic concern that they affect quality of life.They can be disfiguring, causing emotional and psychological distress, especially during puberty, the latter stages of pregnancy (when they are most prominent), in the postnatal period where they appear pale, or after significant weight loss.
This type of dermatological scarring is particularly challenging and tends to occur with:
- Rapid weight gain
- Numerous medical conditions
- Certain therapeutic interventions.