When collagen, the primary building block of the connective tissue that makes your skin elastic, development is disturbed, stretch marks appear. A least 50 percent of all women develop them during pregnancy, reports the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. They may also occur during puberty when your body grows at a rapid pace, during periods of extreme weight gain or in body builders who push their muscles to an extreme size. No topical cream or ointment will fade these reddish-brown bands, including bleaching cream.
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Bleaching cream won't help because stretch marks are skin that hasn't developed properly -- not just skin that has an overabundance of pigment. The University of Maryland Medical Center notes that the skin of stretch marks may actually appear glossy and slightly depressed when compared to normal skin. The appearance of stretch marks fades over time to a silvery or whitish color and takes on the look of a faint scar.