How You Get them
If your skin is stretched farther than it’s used to in a short period of time -- during pregnancy or a change in weight, for example -- the elastic fibers in your skin can tear. Those damaged areas make long, thin scars called stretch marks. They can show up as brown to light brown streaks.
The more weight you gain and the faster you gain it, the more likely you are to have stretch marks.
They’re most common during and after your sixth month. Your body expands as your baby grows, but that might not be the only reason for stretch marks. Changes in your hormones during pregnancy can affect your skin and make it more likely to “tear.”
Color Correcting Fade and Exfoliation Body Treatment
Medication (Birth Control Pills)
Some drugs can cause weight gain, swelling, bloating, or other physical changes that stretch your skin and lead to stretch marks.
Where You Get Them
You won’t get stretch marks on your face, hands, or feet, but they can be almost anywhere else. They’re most likely to be where your body stores fat, like your belly, hips, thighs, breasts, and buttocks.
You also might notice them on your lower back or the backs of your arms. Genetics may play a role in stretch marks. For example, if your mother got them on her thighs during pregnancy, you may be more likely to have them there.
They Don’t Go Away on their own
Like any other scars, stretch marks are permanent. But in time, they usually fade and become a little lighter than the rest of your skin -- they may look white or silvery. If you feel self-conscious about them, there are products you can use to fade them just like any other scared area of your body.
According to New York dermatologist Neal Schultz, MD, two main categories make a skin tone appear to be uneven: texture and color. "For successful treatment, we need to smooth the texture, decrease the brown spots," he explains.
The best option is to use a fade product that will exfoliate all of the skin and fade the affected area over time.
Can You Prevent Them?
One of the best ways to prevent them is to keep your weight steady. Drinking plenty of water may help prevent damage when your skin stretches. And foods that keep your skin healthy may cut your odds, too. Eat foods rich in zinc, like nuts and fish, and ones with vitamins A, C, and D, like citrus, and sweet potatoes.