Recognising stretch marks

Stretch marks are skin lesions that appear on certain women, generally during puberty or pregnancy.

Their form: they look like lines or streaks on the skin.

Their size: a stretch mark can be between half a centimeter and several centimeters long and between 1 millimeter and 1 centimeter wide.

Their appearance: they are smooth and taut upon appearance and gradually take on a furrowed, crumpled appearance when they have finished forming.

Their colour: stretch marks gradually change from pink to red to purple when they are forming and then fade to silvery-white over time.

Their number: this can vary enormously, but stretch marks nearly always appear in clusters of several parallel lines in an often symmetrical arrangement.

Their location: this can also vary, but the most affected areas tend to be the abdomen, hips, buttocks, inside thighs and breasts.

Their duration: once appeared, stretch marks never completely disappear. They fade and lighten in colour over time before taking on their definitive appearance of silvery-white stria.

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