Stretch marks are narrow streaks or lines that occur on the surface of the skin.
Doctors often refer to stretch marks as stria, striae or – during pregnancy – striae gravidarum.
Stretch marks are often red or purple to start with, before gradually fading to a silvery-white colour. They’re usually long and thin.
Stretch marks can occur anywhere where the skin has been stretched, but they usually affect areas where fat is stored, such as the:
- Tummy (abdomen)
- Upper arms
- Shoulders (in bodybuilders)