Why do I have stretch marks?

Stretch marks are a normal part of bodily growth. Yep, they might look rubbish and annoying, but they're more common than you might think...

two girls stretched using webcam effects

No, not this kind of stretching.

What are stretch marks?

Stretch marks are lines or streaks that show up on your skin unannounced. How rude. They could at least bring flowers or a box of chocolates to thank you for their stay, right? They’re usually white, purple, or red, and like to congregate on your hips, thighs, boobs and bum.

But why do I have them?

It’s totally common to have stretch marks and there are many reasons why they appear. Stretch marks appear because, well, your skin stretches. You can get them when:

  • You’re pregnant, for obvious reasons
  • You put on or lose weight rapidly
  • You go through puberty. 7/10 girls and 4/10 boys get stretch marks during puberty. Your skin just can’t keep up with how fast you’re growing

How can I stop getting stretch marks?

Stretch marks are often a standard part of growth, so it might be best to just accept that they’re going to come knocking at some point.

However, if you’re worried that they’ll appear when you’re trying to lose or gain weight, then be sure to go about this in a healthy way. If you lose or gain weight slowly and steadily, then you’re less likely to put too much pressure on your skin.

As a general rule you can always take steps to keep your skin healthy by sticking to a healthy diet. Vitamins C and E can help keep your skin in a good condition.

Can I get rid of them? Please?

Despite there being many creams, oils and gels on the market for defeating stretch marks, there is little medical evidence to prove that they actually work. Nevertheless, treatments such as Bio Oil are often recommended to try and encourage stretch marks to go away and bother someone else.

If your stretch marks are affecting your confidence then visit your GP. They may be able to recommend some alternative treatments such as laser or cosmetic surgery. It is important to point out though that these treatments are not available on the NHS. You could also look into buying camouflage make up.

Stretch marks often fade away by themselves so give it time and they’ll get bored of being a nuisance.

They’re pretty ugly though…

Yep, stretch marks aren’t there to look pretty. They can come in all different colours, from white to purple, and in all different sizes. But remember that they’re very common and your friends and family most likely have them too.

Your stretch marks are an example of the wonderful things your body can do, from growing and carrying a real life human, to changing size and shape through puberty. They’re your unique stripes, so wear them with pride.

Next Steps

  • If you're under 25 and would like free confidential telephone counselling from The Mix to help you figure things out complete this form and we'll call you to arrange your first session.
  • Chat about this subject on our Discussion Boards.
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Updated on 31-May-2016

photo credit: SOHOlife.hk via photopin (license)