Stretch marks typically appear as bands of parallel lines on your skin. These lines are a different color and texture than your normal skin, and they range from purple to bright pink to light gray. When you touch stretch marks with your fingers, you might feel a slight ridge or indentation on your skin. Sometimes, stretch marks feel itchy or sore. These lines commonly appear during or after pregnancy or after a sudden change in your weight. They also tend to occur in adolescents who are rapidly growing.
Stretch marks can also occur in dark-complected people where they appear as dark-brown lines, which are termed striae nigrae. In short, stretch marks are scars that are permanent once formed. The pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPV) has been available since 1977 and is used mainly for adults over 65 and those with certain chronic illnesses such as diabetes or pulmonary disease. Only one dose is needed unless it is given prior to age 65. When a second dose is needed, it should be given at least 5 years after the first dose.
The most invasive therapies for stretch marks involve physician-administered laser surgery. Improvement in stretch marks with laser therapy is accomplished by wounding the scarred skin and hoping that the newly healed skin will have a more normal, cosmetically acceptable appearance. Medical reports of Nd:YAG laser, radiofrequency devices, and fractional photothermolysis have shown some degree of improvement in stretch mark appearance but not resolution.