Why Do I Have Stretch Marks?

Stretch marks are more common than you might think…

Stretch marks are often associated with pregnancy but they’re also incredibly common during puberty. Contrary to popular belief, they affect boys as well as girls. They’re a natural part of growing up, but that doesn’t make them any less distressing. Stretch marks can make you feel self-conscious and anxious.

What Are Stretch Marks?

Stretch marks are created when the skin is overstretched, making indented scar lines. Although skin is fairly elastic (stretchy), it can be overstretched by a growth spurt.  

Stretch marks can be dark red or purple when they first appear and this can be alarming but they will gradually lighten over time to leave silvery lines. You may also notice they feel different in texture to the rest of your skin.

Where Do They Appear?

Stretch marks tend to appear on the breasts, thighs, hips and bottom but they can also show up in other areas such as the arms. Many young people, especially girls, will notice stretch marks appearing during puberty as their body grows and changes. People who are overweight are more prone to getting stretch marks and so are body builders because of how quickly and drastically they change their body shape.

How To Make Stretch Marks Less Noticeable

There are lots of expensive creams and gels that promise to get rid of stretch marks completely but be wary – the truth is, most of these don’t work and no cream can totally erase scars. Retinoid creams or hyaluronic acid can be used for treating new stretch marks which can help to lessen their appearance but won’t remove them completely.

Here are some ways you can make stretch marks less noticeable:

  • Cosmetics

You can buy make-up to cover up stretch marks. Colour match your chosen cosmetic to your skin to make sure it looks as natural as possible. You can find body make-up in high street shops or online.

  • Fake Tan

Some people find fake tan helps to lessen the appearance of stretch marks. You could try using a gradual tan moisturising cream to build up a healthy glow or apply a tanning mousse or spray. A real tan often makes stretch marks more visible as the scarred skin is less likely to tan.

  • Healthy Diet

The best way to reduce your chances of getting stretch marks is to eat a healthy diet to maintain a healthy weight.

Getting More Help

If stretch marks are getting you down, please don’t suffer in silence. Talk to someone you trust about how you’re feeling and visit your GP if you’re struggling with your mental health. Find more information on stretch marks here: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stretch-marks/


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