Stretch marks are narrow pink or purplish streak-like lines that can develop on the surface of the skin.
If you get them, they usually appear on your tummy, or sometimes on your upper thighs and breasts, as your pregnancy progresses and your bump starts to grow. When this happens will be different from woman to woman.
The first sign you notice might be itchiness around an area where the skin is becoming thin and pink.
Stretch marks aren’t harmful. They don’t cause medical problems and there isn’t a specific treatment for them.
After your baby is born, the marks should gradually fade into white-coloured scars and become less noticeable. They probably won’t go away completely.
What Causes Pregnancy Stretch Marks
Pregnancy stretch marks aren’t any different than stretch marks you get at other times of your life. Rapid growth or weight gain causes the middle layer of skin (the dermis) to tear due to the skin not being able to stretch with the fast growth of the body.
This often happens during adolescents when stretch marks are more likely to appear on upper arms, thighs, belly and breasts.
Will It Go Away?
That question is a hard one to answer. It’s also one of the most common worries I hear from moms, whether they have one child or ten. After having three children, most of my own stretch marks have faded, and many of them are no longer visible unless you look really closely. But I still have loose skin on my stomach around and above my bellybutton. And my bellybutton piercing isn’t very sexy now.
One thing is for certain – my stomach now is not the stomach I had when I was strutting the pool deck in my bikini. My body is not the same body I had before I had kids, period. There are some days when I lament that fact. Those are the days I can’t complete a workout that was easy for me before my last pregnancy. Or when I’m at the beach and see all the girls walking around in bikinis without a care in the world. There are days I wonder how I ever did that myself.
Try as you might to avoid stretch marks, there’s no proven way to treat them or to stop them from zigzagging their way across your body. Fortunately, they won’t stay so vividly hued forever. After delivery, they usually fade to a less noticeable (and more easily concealable) silvery gray color. Meanwhile, try to wear them with pride.