The 5 Most Common Causes of Stretch Marks

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Stretch marks, also known as striae, are scars that appear on various parts of your skin, primarily around your stomach, thighs, hips, breasts, upper arms, lower back and calves. They usually start out looking red and purple, and then they later fade to a hypopigmented hue, or a color that’s slightly lighter than your skin tone. Stretch marks are often the product of stretching or tearing of the dermis, which is one of the layers of your skin. This can occur through a variety of very normal experiences — even adolescent growth spurts.

Stretch marks vary in appearance from person to person, particularly depending on how long a person has had them, where they’re located on the body and what type of skin they occurred in originally. The reasons they form can vary, too. Take a look at some of the most common causes of stretch marks.