What are Stretch Marks?

Stretch Marks

Many pregnant women are worried about having pregnancy stretch marks. It is said that more than 70% of them tend to have it. However, these days there are a lot of information about preventing stretch marks. And many pregnant women have proven that they never developed pregnancy stretch marks.

Let’s find out how we can make that possible. Also, let’s learn how pregnancy stretch marks are formed.

What is a pregnancy stretch mark?

Generally referred to as “pregnancy stretch mark”, it is the fracture mark which indicates the torn dermis that cannot catch up with the sudden stretching of the skin. Usually, pregnant women have it from 5 to 7 months of the pregnancy period, when the belly begins to get bigger.

It is normal to get pregnancy stretch marks, but you can prevent it.

There are individual differences in how pregnancy stretch marks are made; some have only one on the upper and lower sides of the navel (called the midline), others can be more than ten lines, and others have one like cracks on the skin. In addition, some people may have not only have some on the belly but also on the thighs, hips, upper arms, breasts, etc.

What is the mechanism of a pregnancy stretch mark?

As you know, the skin is divided into three layers – epidermis, dermis and subcutaneous tissue.

The adipocytes in the subcutaneous tissue grow rapidly during pregnancy, the epidermis will grow to a certain extent, but some of the dermis and subcutaneous tissue will rupture because they are unable to catch up with the speed.

Capillary vessels can be seen through from the point of rupture, red-purple linear squares appear. The pregnancy stretch mark vary and look like a lightning strike or like a pattern of a watermelon’s skin and so on.

Also, during pregnancy the amount of steroid hormone secreted increases, and this hormone has a function to suppress skin turnover. Therefore, the skin can not be metabolized quickly, the elasticity is lost, and it tends to get torn.

Who can have pregnancy stretch marks easily?

Not all of pregnant women have stretch marks. 30% of them will give a birth without having pregnancy stretch marks.
Then what’s the difference between pregnant women who have pregnancy stretch marks and who don’t?

Pregnant women whose weight gain is 12 kg or more

Pregnant women who can control weight with some exercise and diet don’t seem to have pregnancy stretch marks. People whose weight gain is 8 kg or less seem to hardly have any.

Conversely, if there is a sudden weight gain of 12 kg or more, there is a high possibility that a stretch mark will appear.

Small and skinny women

Women who are small and skinny can have pregnancy stretch marks easily because the original skin area is small. Therefore, the skin is stretched more compared to the average-sized person , and the pregnancy stretch marks are formed easily.

Twinning/Multiple pregnancy

Twin and triplets are called multiple pregnancy. The belly is bigger than a the belly of a pregnant woman carrying a single baby. And naturally, because the skin stretches more as the number of babies increase, a stretch mark is likely to occur.

Women with atopy

Women with atopy often use corticosteroids, and the side effects weakens the elasticity of the skin. When the elasticity of the skin weakens, the skin becomes difficult to stretch which means that pregnancy stretch marks can be formed easily.

Pregnancy over 35

The older we become, the less elastic the skin becomes. Therefore, it becomes easy for pregnant women to have pregnancy stretch marks compared to young pregnant women.


A woman who has experienced childbirth once is called a multipara, and the uterus is in a state where it can easily stretch compared to women who don’t have any childbirth experience. As a result, when the belly suddenly grows bigger, pregnancy stretch marks are likely to occur.

Dry skin

Dry skin is difficult to stretch and pregnancy stretch marks can appear easily than people with oily skin.


Take the pointers mentioned above to assess whether you are likely to get stretch marks. On the next article, we will show you how to prevent having pregnancy stretch marks.

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