Stretch marks, common after puberty, weight gain, or pregnancy, may be off-putting in appearance but are harmless. Treatments can help reduce visibility.

Stretch marks are colored streaks that appear on the skin. They typically occur when your skin is stretched beyond its natural limit. The strain is often the result of weight gain, but can also occur from rapid growth. Stretch marks are more common on women, but can also appear on men.

Stretch marks frequently develop on your inner thighs. They might be annoying, but typically don’t hurt and aren’t an indication of a larger health issue.

Stretch marks often fade from red or purple to white or silver on their own. You can also treat your stretch marks while they’re red to make their appearance fade.

Stretch marks on your inner thighs occur naturally. They form in the middle layer of your skin after being stretched too far. When the connective fibers of your skin stretch too much, they can tear and leave a mark.

This new scar may initially appear as red or purple from blood vessels seen through the skin. Over time, your stretch marks may fade into a silver or white hue and become more difficult to treat.

Some common causes of inner-thigh stretch marks include:

There are also some medical conditions linked to these marks:

Stretch marks vary in color depending on how old they are. They can also vary in size.

In the earlier stages, marks on your inner thighs may appear as red or purple. When skin from your middle layer tears, the area becomes thinner. The mark may be red because you can now see blood vessels beneath your skin. These blood vessels make it easier to treat stretch marks during this stage.

Over time, your blood vessels will narrow and cause your stretch marks to change color. Marks that were once red may turn skin-colored, silver or white. These stretch marks are more difficult to treat.

Your stretch marks may be sore to touch. They may also itch from your skin attempting to repair itself. If you experience any worsening symptoms, seek medical attention. This may be indication of a rash or another medical condition.

Exposed stretch marks, specifically on the inner thigh, may be something you want to remove. Although there is no cure for stretch marks, there are treatments available to soften their appearance. In some cases, they may fade naturally over time.

Treatments to reduce the appearance of your stretch marks include:

  • Moisturizers. Apply a vitamin-rich moisturizer, oil or lotion to your stretch marks. Keeping your skin moisturized can increase or maintain elasticity of your skin.
  • Exfoliation. Regular exfoliation will remove dead skin from your thighs and can improve skin regeneration.
  • Topical creams. Prescribed topical creams will not only lighten your scars, but will also help return elasticity to your skin.
  • Laser therapy. A more expensive approach is laser therapy, a procedure that uses lasers to stimulate skin cell growth and regeneration. This treatment may require multiple visits for effective results.
  • Microdermabrasion. Microdermabrasion is a procedure that uses exfoliating crystals to reduce the appearance of stretch marks. These crystals remove dead skin from the affected areas.

Stretch marks commonly appear on the inner thighs after puberty, weight gain, or pregnancy. They can be unsightly, but are harmless. There are treatments available to reduce their appearance, however, they may never fully disappear.

Stretch marks on your inner thigh are not usually a health concern. If you begin to experience irregular symptoms alongside your stretch marks, seek medical attention. This may be an indication of a more serious medical condition.