The majority of people both in and outside of the gym will experience stretch marks at some point in their life. They are simply a common side effect of growth. They can result from gaining muscle, fat, pregnancy, etc. They are the dark red / purple streaks and scars that form when the underlying tissue grows so fast that the skin eventually tears along the growth site. Whether your skin is perfect of not, chances are if you enjoy weight lifting and bodybuilding and are looking to grow, they will occur!
A good percentage of serious lifters who gain a reasonable amount of muscle during their newbie phase will end up with bodybuilding stretch marks of some kind.
Stretch marks are caused by rapid expansion of the skin, causing ruptures in the supporting structures. Stretch marks from gaining muscle will start off as red or purple lines that gradually fade to silver or white over time.
But is it possible to get rid of stretch marks from lifting? Are there any stretch mark removal treatments that will cause them to go away?
Well, sort of.
First off, I wouldn’t bother with the various “stretch mark creams” that you’ll see being heavily marketed online. They usually contain ingredients like cocoa butter, silicone gel or almond oil, but there is no good research to show that any of these creams actually work to any significant degree despite them being marketed as fail-proof “stretch mark cures”.
If you want to get rid of your bodybuilding stretch marks, the unfortunate truth is that hands-on treatment from a dermatologist is really the only reliable way.
Microdermabrasion, laser therapy or IPL are the only stretch mark treatments out there with concrete research to show that they actually produce significant results.
Even then, the treatments are pricey and may not even be able to completely eliminate stretch marks altogether, but instead will simply reduce their appearance. For that reason, I’d only recommend going this route if you’re very serious about it and have the extra money.
Keep in mind that bodybuilding stretch marks are not a “surface area” problem; they actually occur in the middle layer of skin as a result of actual tears in the tissue. Because of that, they’re pretty hard to effectively treat.
I personally have stretch marks from muscle growth in my early years of lifting, and they’re all over my body from my arms to chest to lats to quads. I’ve never worried about them and actually kind of like them in a way, as they’re a reminder of the hard work I’ve put in.
Also keep in mind that they will gradually fade, and in the end, time is probably the best and most realistic treatment for most people.
via Sean Nalewanyj