WARNING: The Embarrassing Bodies website contains images of an explicit medical nature and nudity in a medical context.

NHS Choices Condition

Content supplied by NHS Choices

Stretch marks first appear as red streaks or lines on the surface of your skin that are slightly raised to the touch. Depending on the colour of your skin they may also look pink, reddish brown or dark brown.

The lines will often change to appear purple or blue in colour, before slowly flattening out. As the lines get flatter, they also fade and usually end up a few shades lighter than your natural skin tone.

If you have stretch marks, you may notice that they usually appear in patches of parallel lines on your body. Your skin over the stretch marks may look thin and silvery, and can often look scar-like.

In many cases, stretch marks fade and become less noticeable over time, but this can take years.

Where do stretch marks appear?

You may develop stretch marks anywhere on your body where your skin has been stretched. However, they usually occur on the parts of your body where fat is stored, such as your:

  • abdomen (stomach),
  • buttocks,
  • thighs,
  • upper arms, and
  • breasts (in women).
view information about Stretch Marks on www.nhs.co.uk »

Important Notice

The information provided on this website (including any NHS Choices medical information) is for use as information or for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical care by a qualified doctor or other qualified healthcare professional. We do not warrant that any information included within this site will meet your health or medical requirements. This Embarrassing Bodies site does not provide any medical or diagnostic services so you should always check with a health professional if you have any concerns about your health.


If you want to embed our videos in your site, read our embedding T&Cs here