Stretch marks (striae) can appear when there is rapid stretching of the skin. Stretch marks appear as parallel streaks of red, thinned glossy skin that over time become whitish and scarlike in appearance. They are often associated with the abdominal enlargement of pregnancy and can also occur during the rapid growth of puberty in males and females. The stretch marks may be slightly depressed and have a different texture than normal skin.
Review Date 6/7/2023
Updated by: Elika Hoss, MD, Assistant Professor of Dermatology, Mayo Clinic, Scottsdale, AZ. Also reviewed by David C. Dugdale, MD, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.