Does Bodybuilding Cause Stretch Marks?
If you've been hitting the gym regularly and making gains, you might have noticed some changes in your body. You feel stronger and more confident than ever before. As weeks go by and your body begins to lose fat and gain muscles, you notice streaks of red and purple color on your shoulders, pecs, or biceps but pass it off as an allergy or gym rash that would soon fade away.
Those streaks are called stretch marks, and it affects thousands of bodybuilders like yourself. But don’t worry; we have the solution for you. Here’s all you need to know about bodybuilding stretch marks and how to keep them at bay. Grab a protein shake, and let's get started!
Are stretch marks common in bodybuilding?
It is often discouraging to put in much effort to grow muscle or lose weight, only to be tormented by stretch marks across your skin. For bodybuilder Justin who actively trains and lifts every week, stretch marks have significantly affected his life. Justin embodies every aspiring bodybuilder as his towering height, massive and shredded chest, and amazing muscle definition have many wishing to be him. Yet Justin is conscious about his physique as he battles with bodybuilder stretch marks across his skin.
Like many teenagers, Justin first encountered workout stretch marks when he was a young child as he experienced a significant growth spurt during puberty. After high school, he began lifting more weights, and more weightlifting stretch marks appeared on his shoulders and biceps. He recalls that they first appeared reddish and only a quarter of an inch long but became large with a crimson color.
The simple truth is that irrespective of how perfect your skin was before bodybuilding, you will most likely develop stretch marks before and after exercise if you lift heavy weights or do hard-core training. Hence, you will most likely see abs with stretch marks or six pack stretch marks as you continue to lift. Stretch marks can affect your self-esteem, especially when you cannot publicly show off your hard-earned ribs.
Why do bodybuilders get stretch marks?
Many bodybuilders develop stretch marks as the skin is forced to stretch to accommodate changes in size and form. For stretch marks to form, the middle layer of skin, known as the dermis, will break (if the skin is brittle) when the body's structure changes to accommodate growth. Then, the ripped dermis layer will initially show dark red or purple streaks and eventually turn white.
Stretch marks result from rapid physical development, typically due to weight loss or gain. When this occurs, the collagen in the skin, which maintains its suppleness and elasticity, cannot keep up with the stretching of your skin, developing stretch marks and scars. Thus, muscular stretch marks or bodybuilding stretch marks on the shoulders, pecs, and biceps could result from rapid mass growth from either muscle or fat.
Do stretch marks mean muscle growth?
As mentioned earlier, stretch marks result from the skin's inability to keep up rapid fat loss or muscle growth. Hence stretch marks from lifting weights or workout stretch marks mean muscle growth and expansion.
As you consistently lift heavy weights and perform muscle-defining exercises, the skin expands alongside these targeted muscles. Depending on certain reasons, your muscle growth might exceed the skin's elasticity, causing it to break and give room for the enlarged muscle beneath. If you notice streaks of stretch marks, it means you've earned your stripes in your bodybuilding, as they are stretch marks from muscle growth.
Are stretch marks permanent from bodybuilding?
Like any scar or damage to the skin, stretch marks are semi-permanent or permanent scars on the body that will not go away on their own. In addition, there is no definitive treatment for stretch marks because they are brought on by a tear deep under your skin. Stretch marks may eventually disappear, but this process frequently takes years.
The skin's type, tone, and age influence a stretch mark's appearance. Fresh stretch marks may appear red, pink, or purplish-blue on pale or white skin. The skin may also appear very thin or slightly raised and itching. Old stretch marks are scar-like and can appear whitish or have silver undertones while being indented. Stretch marks typically seem pale or darker than the surrounding skin on those with darker skin.
How do bodybuilders get rid of stretch marks?
"Does man care about stretch marks?" Yes, many men care about stretch marks and are often insecure about them. This claim is backed by the hundreds of search queries for stretch marks-resolving solutions for men on Google and other search engines.
You can eliminate the itch that comes with fresh stretch marks with certain remedies. But, note that every patient responds to treatment differently. Here are some ways to get rid of bodybuilder stretch marks:
OTC creams and mixtures
Certain over-the-counter medications may help stretch marks improve a little, but they never entirely disappear. Many of these creams have been marketed to cure stretch marks, yet no single product works perfectly, and some don't. Regardless, researchers have found some useful workarounds — according to studies, two compounds may provide some relief: Hyaluronic acid and Tretinoin.
Applying hyaluronic acid immediately after noticing stretch marks can make it less visible. Tretinoin may also lessen the appearance of early stretch marks. Researchers believe that using this prescription ointment every night for 24 weeks reduces the appearance of stretch marks. Also, retinol, another form of retinoid, may reduce early stretch marks. To get the best results from one of these stretch mark-fading lotions, follow these instructions:
- Use the product on young and early stretch marks, as older ones will likely be less responsive to treatment.
- The product should be applied to your stretch marks and will be more effective if you take the time to massage it carefully into your skin.
- Use the product daily for several weeks, as results take weeks to become visible.
Stretch marks kit
When used together, a stretch marks kit contains various items that can help erase stretch marks on the skin. Although there are many stretch marks kits on the market, Dermaclara SILICONEFUSION™ body patches have yielded desirable results, and there are hundreds of customers testimonials to back up the claim. SILICONEFUSION™ reusable Body Patches use a unique and clinically approved technology to treat scars and stretch and can be applied on all body parts.
These skin patches seal in moisture and draw moisture from deep inside the skin's layers to control collagen synthesis, even out uneven skin tone, and promote healing. They can be worn 30 times and are also 7" and can treat large scarred areas like a pregnant belly.
Other dermatologically approved methods
Other methods that can help eliminate stretch marks include Chemical peel, Laser therapy, Radiofrequency, Microdermabrasion, Ultrasound, and more. These remedies can be used alone but provide better and faster results when combined with others.
How do bodybuilders prevent stretch marks?
To prevent stretch marks from appearing in other parts, here are common preventive remedies:
Creams and Vit-E oils
Some oils and hyaluronic acid moisturizers help your body produce collagen and elastin while hydrating your skin and nourishing it with nutrients. They include aloe vera, coconut oil, and vitamin E; these oils and creams prepare the skin for growth, keeping your skin free of stretch marks.
Avoid dirty bulking (excessive junk to pile up calories) and eat more fruits and vegetables. A proper diet hydrates your skin and provides extra natural nutritional supplements.
Avoid steroids and body-enhancing drugs
You want to develop as quickly as possible, of course, so ensure you grow humanly and not superhumanly. Drugs that increase performance will dry out your skin and change your hormonal balance, making you more likely to develop stretch marks. It will also accelerate your gains so quickly that your skin will never be able to adjust.