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Stretch marks are streaks or lines on the skin. They stand out because they are a different colour to normal skin. The clinical names for stretch marks are stria, striae or striae gravidarum in the case of stretch marks during pregnancy.
Stretch marks occur when the skin is stretched. They can appear anywhere on the body, but are most common on the abdomen, breasts, buttocks, arms and thighs.
In many cases, stretch marks are caused by weight gain and weight loss, which is why they are prominent on areas of the body where fat is stored. They also can appear during puberty and during pregnancy. If you have a family history of stretch marks, you may be more susceptible to developing them.