Are Gym Stretch Marks Permanent?
When you think of stretch marks, you probably imagine stock images of someone obese or a heavily pregnant woman. But stretch marks are also common to people at the other end of the spectrum- bodybuilders. We can all agree that the sight of stretch marks can be discouraging and affect your self-esteem.
While muscle stretch marks may seem permanent on your skin, the good news is that there are ways to reduce their appearance and prevent them from developing further. But it's important to understand what causes them in the first place and the factors that determine whether they are permanent or not.
Why am I getting stretch marks from the gym?
Puberty, stress, and inheritance are just a few potential reasons for stretch marks. But when it comes to weightlifting, building your muscle might lead to tearing in one of the layers of your skin. Bodybuilding stretch marks develop when skin is forced to stretch to accommodate changes in a person's size and form.
As you bulk up and lift heavy weights to expand your muscles (and your entire body size), the middle layer of skin, known as the dermis, might rip (if the skin is brittle) as the body changes shape to make room for growth.
The lines caused by the ripped dermis layer first appear as a dark red or purple but may eventually turn white. The so-called "scars" you see are just a tear or holes in the bottom layers of skin covered by the top layer of skin.
Enough of the technical words; picture it this way: Imagine your skin as an elastic band that stretches when you put a load on it. But if you stretch it too much, the band snaps and won't hold your hair up anymore. Similarly, your skin experiences the same thing as it shreds when stretched too quickly or too far.
Although the most common cause of shoulder stretch marks is rapid weight gain, a less common reason is a sudden increase in the range of motion and pull on the skin. Stretch marks from "weightlifting" are frequently found at the pec-delt tie-in (the inside of the pecs surrounding the outer chest) and beneath the arms because most people don't move their arms into postures like dips, pec flyes, or even a full bench press frequently.
Where do gym stretch marks appear?
It is common to see muscular stretch marks on the chest and upper thighs of men and in front of the shoulders of women. Stretch marks on biceps are also common to both gender, and they can affect your self-confidence and the type of cloth you wear.
Bodybuilders often develop fine, red, and occasionally purple lines on their pecs, biceps, backs, and shoulders as their dermis stretches to accommodate rapid muscle growth.
Stretch marks can technically form everywhere, but weightlifters are more likely to get them on their arms, thighs, and buttocks. They are more likely to develop in these regions because these areas are more prone to see rapid muscle development.
Do gym stretch marks go away?
As a professional bodybuilder, much of your life is devoted to honing your body. And nothing spells perfection more than a well-built figure and ribbed six-pack abs devoid of stretch marks. But this is not always the case, so it is normal to feel concerned and wonder if these marks will go away naturally.
As explained earlier, stretch marks are brought on by the dermis's collagen and elastin breaking down during rapid growth or weight gain. While repairing the skin's elastin or any other damaged structural components is impossible, you can encourage new collagen formation using several dermatologically approved techniques.
Note that stretch marks will likely remain permanent scars if not treated early using the correct method.
How to get rid of gym stretch marks?
Like every scar, there are numerous methods to eliminate gym stretch marks, be it stretch marks on shoulder from lifting or stretch marks from working out legs. But, these techniques take a long time and might require multiple treatments or combinations of therapies for greater efficacy.
Here are various ways to get rid of stretch marks from weightlifting:
Stretch marks from exercising that are less than a few months old can be improved thanks to retinoids derived from vitamin A. Retinoids can give skin a smoother, younger appearance, and they are usually available as an over-the-counter (OTC) topical cosmetic. But it is essential to follow the directions carefully as retinol might occasionally irritate the skin.
Hyaluronic acid moisturizers and creams
Hyaluronic acid is a potent moisturizer and skin-healing agent frequently available in serums, creams, and lotions. It can lessen the appearance of stretch marks, and it is recommended to apply it at least once daily to the affected area.
Stretch marks treatment kit
Another way to eliminate stretch marks is using a stretch marks treatment kit. They consist of different treatment methods that are applied simultaneously to cure and prevent stretch marks. Dermaclara SILICONEFUSIONTM is a popular choice for many gym lovers. It comprises 2-12 reusable silicone patches that maintain hydration and draws moisture from the skin's deeper layers to control collagen formation.
It also evens out skin tone and promotes healing. Unlike other stretch marks kits, Dermaclara's silicone patches are products of scientifically-validated technology and dermatologically-approved processes primarily to treat large treatment areas, such as the pregnant belly.
How to avoid gym stretch marks?
Stretch marks are permanent and will not go away without treatment. So, it's critical to take precautionary steps to limit stretch marks. These actions include:
Moisture your skin
Use a hyaluronic acid moisturizer to moisturize, tone, and smooth dry or damaged skin. Dermaclara's Clarasome hyaluronic acid moisturizer deeply penetrates the skin, making it younger, softer, and healthier. It contains aloe, almond oil, and glycerin that promotes collagen synthesis and leaves the skin smooth, unlike other brands' formulations.
Take minerals and vitamin supplements
Ensure you take minerals and vitamin supplements (e.g., Vitamin E), as it promotes healthy skin and aids in the expansion of the skin (to accommodate muscle growth) while preventing tears that can turn to stretch marks.
Use a post-workout stretch marks kit
We recommend you use a post-workout stretch marks kit that helps prevent skin tears and scars. Dermaclara's SILICONEFUSION™ Body Patches effectively protect the skin by controlling collagen synthesis and increasing the skin hydration levels to improve and protect the skin.
Stretch marks before and after gym exercise
Regular exercisers who frequent the gym have a greater risk of developing stretch marks after working out leg. It comes in the form of skin redness (which can also be purple) in specific body regions, particularly the chest, pecs, biceps, and thighs. This change is a result of a rapid weight change. To get rid of stretch marks before and after exercise, we advise against attempting to lose 50 pounds in a month, both before and following activity.
Also, drink a lot of water to assist your skin in tightening and maintaining its stretch. Avoid caffeine-containing products, especially coffee and energy drinks, as they can increase your risk of developing stretch marks. Instead, consume a healthy diet of vitamins and minerals, particularly vitamins C and E.