Stretch Marks



Stretch marks appear initially as bluish purple linear marks of varying length on the surface of the skin. They are frequently narrow to begin with. These lines of discoloration on the skin, due to stretching, are mainly seen on adolescent girls and pregnant women. They may widen and often they may be 0.25-2. cm in length, but they can become much longer.

With the passage of time, the coloration tends to fade. Finally they appear as whitish silvery marks that blend in with the general color of the skin and are barely noticeable. Those complaining about them are mostly young women in their teens and earl twenties. Women undergoing their first confinement, usually the younger age group, find them annoying.



The marks represent a destruction of the elastic fibers in the skin. The fibers become overstretched, and like a rubber band that has been overextended, the elasticity is destroyed. Overlying tissues become inelastic, and tend to produce the characteristic appearance. In adolescent girls, the sudden increase in size due to the secondary sexual characteristics is often the reason for their appearance.

Sudden weight increase about the hips, buttocks, abdomen and breast area makes these sites especially vulnerable. With pregnant women, the abdomen and breasts, and parts that are greatly overstretched physiologically, suffer. Stretch marks can become extreme in these areas, particularly the abdomen. Stretch marks are not a disease, but there is rarely a condition for which there is no cure.



Stretch Marks Treatment

There is no simple remedy for this situation, but a few general ideas may assist. Avoid sudden weight increases. Often it is a fat young lady who complains about stretch marks. A check will indicate that their dietary habits are most unsatisfactory. Care in the matter of food preparation is wise. A sensible, low-kilo joule intake will keep weight within normal limits. This will help check the profusion of unattractive stretch marks.

Exercise is important. While stretch marks cannot reversed once they have appeared, increasing the general tone and vitality of skin may help. Active participation in sport, plenty of outdoor activity and attention to personal hygiene, as well as joining a gymnasium is a good idea.



The application of certain oils to the affected parts may also help to check the spread of stretch marks. Olive oil has been advocated for decades, and most pregnant women have used it. It will not do any harm and may be of some value.

Concentrating on more important aspects of life, such as setting goals and trying to achieve them will do much to alter one’s mental outlook. With this in mind, and following a set routine for general good health, the individual’s stretch marks often lose their importance.



For pregnant women adequate prenatal care is essential. Pregnant women must attend their physician for regular prenatal checks. These occur monthly for the first several months, later fortnightly, then weekly. Here the doctor will check for any abnormality, and offer treatment if necessary. Discuss your stretch marks on these occasions if you desire further information.