Stretch marks are long and narrow grooves or lines that appear on the skin when the surface of the skin gets stretched suddenly.

These marks that are visible on different body parts including stomach, hips, breast, upper arms, thighs, and lower back, mostly affect women and are harmless.

Stretch marks are caused when skin loses ability to retain normal state because of pregnancy, weight gain or loss, and puberty. Stretch marks do not appear when the dermis layer of the skin grows slowly but would suddenly flare up if the dermis layer grows faster.

  • Some medical conditions like Marfan syndrome and Cushing’s syndrome can also cause stretch marks.
  • Stretch marks are more common when there is a high level of cortisone hormone, weakening the elasticity of the skin.
  • Other causes of skin stretch marks include, excessive BMI before pregnancy, and birth weight of a child in pregnant women. 

Creams, gels, lotions, oils, cosmetic surgeries are available treatment options which may or may not work. A regular massage with sesame oil or olive oil can wipe out these stretch marks gradually.

One can prevent stretch marks by maintaining a healthy body weight, regular exercise, eating a balanced diet rich in vitamin A and C, by targeting slow weight gain in pregnancy and drinking more water.