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What Should I Do About Stretch Marks?

About 2 years ago I had a huge growth spurt, and a few months later I noticed that I had red marks on my back and on the inner-thigh area! What can I do to help hide or get rid of them?
- Amanda*

It sounds like you have stretch marks. While it's probably hard for you to stop focusing on them right now, it's important to know that you're not alone. As many as 1 out of every 3 girls get stretch marks at some point, usually right after a growth spurt. The most common places to see stretch marks are the back, thighs, stomach, and breasts.

Stretch marks become less noticeable over time. The key is patience; there's no need to run out and buy a bunch of creams and ointments that claim to cure stretch marks — they don't work.

In the meantime, take care of your skin, eat a healthy diet, and be active every day. If you are self-conscious about your stretch marks, you can try a sunless tanning product to help conceal them.

Reviewed by: Mary L. Gavin, MD
Date reviewed: October 2011

*Names have been changed to protect user privacy.