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What are stretch marks?

Stretch marks (striae) are discolored, slightly sunken (depressed), scar-like lines in your skin. They appear when your skin rapidly stretches or shrinks. Stretch marks generally appear on your:

  • Abdominal area (stomach)
  • Thighs
  • Hips
  • Breasts (boobs)
  • Upper arms
  • Lower back
  • Buttocks (butt)

How common are stretch marks?

Stretch marks are common. Between 50% and 90% of all people who are pregnant develop stretch marks.

Who do stretch marks affect?

Anyone can get stretch marks. But you’re more likely to develop stretch marks when:

  • You’re pregnant,
  • You suddenly gain or lose a lot of weight,
  • Your muscles get bigger quickly through bodybuilding or weightlifting,
  • You’re experiencing a growth spurt during adolescence,
  • You have a family history of stretch marks (genetics).

How do stretch marks affect my body?

Stretch marks don’t hurt, but they can affect your mental health. They can make you worry about how others look at you. They can also affect how you think about yourself and your behavior. You may experience stress, anxiety and depression.