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Stretch marks in pregnancy

Stretch marks are pink or red skin lines, usually on the tummy, breasts and thighs. Find out how to reduce any discomfort and what to do if they don't fade away.

Stretch marks are pale pink or red lines on the surface of the skin - most common on the tummy, breasts and thighs. They can feel itchy and tight.

Almost 8 out of 10 women will get stretch marks during pregnancy.

pregnancy-stretch-marks
Pregnancy stretch marks

Weight gain during pregnancy

You may be more likely to get stretch marks if your weight gain during pregnancy is more than average.

All women gain slightly different amounts of weight during pregnancy. Most women gain between 10 kg to 12.5 kg. Eating a wide variety of healthy foods can help to keep your weight gain healthy.

What you can do

To reduce itchiness and discomfort, keep your skin well moisturised during pregnancy.

There are creams and oils that claim to prevent stretch marks. But there's no scientific evidence that they actually work.

After pregnancy

Stretch marks usually fade after pregnancy.

If your stretch marks don't fade after pregnancy and you're concerned, talk to your GP. Your GP can refer you to a dermatologist.

Related topic

Skin problems in pregnancy

page last reviewed: 17/05/2019
next review due: 17/05/2022