Stretch Marks from Bodybuilding

Stretch Marks from Bodybuilding by Dr Meenu Sethi
Stretch Marks from Bodybuilding by Dr Meenu Sethi

If you are into excessive working out or bodybuilding, you may notice some red-purple colored lines on different parts of your body. These lines that you see are called 'Stretch Marks'. Stretch marks run perpendicular to maximum lines of tension in the skin and appear as linear streaks on the skin that has been stretched to a great extent. In the beginning, they appear as flat red lines, and over time they appear as somewhat sunken white streaks. One can compare their appearance to changes apparent in the surface of over-inflated rubber balloons.

How Do Bodybuilders Develop Stretch Marks

Weight gain is presumed to be the primary reason for stretch marks, however, muscle gain also contributes significantly to the development of stretch marks. The stretch marks caused from muscle gain look no different than the stretch marks developed due to weight loss or gain. People who spend a lot of time in the gym, working on increasing their muscle size are more prone to developing stretch marks. When the body responds to the weight lifts, the muscle sizes, especially in the arms, shoulders and thigh parts get tight and toned.

If you spend too much time in the gym, your muscle development is more rapid than normal, hence resulting in skin stretching and the continual rise of cortisol level in the body. This combination leads to a lowered level of collagen and tearing of the leftover collagen present under the skin. Collagen, along with elastin fibers play a significant role in your skin’s ability to expand as your body grows. When collagen and elastin fibers are ruptured, or their level of production decreases, stretch marks are likely to occur.

Initially, stretch marks look like pinkish, purplish, or reddish indented linear marks perpendicular to the tension of the skin. They become gray flat, brown or white streaks gradually.

The level of cortisol in the bodybuilders increases considerably when they are grunting and straining to lift heavy weights. Cortisol is a steroid hormone produced by the adrenal gland, and they bring down the productivity levels of collagen. For the skin to deal with aging and expanding body, there has to be an adequate supply of collagen. However, as we age, the production of collagen declines. So, when one lifts weight excessively, the level of collagen decreases along with the physical damage caused by the thickening and constantly increasing muscle size.

Where Do Stretch Marks Appear

Stretch marks can appear anywhere where the skin has been stretched, but they are more likely to appear in areas where fat is stored, such as the:

• Upper arms

• Buttocks

• Thighs

• Shoulders (in bodybuilders)

• Tummy

• Breasts How To Prevent Stretch Marks

If you are into bodybuilding, the major step you need to take is to not traumatize your skin and its underlying system. You can do this by developing muscles in a slow and steady manner. Try to gain muscle patiently over a period of time. Lifting heavy weights in order to develop muscles overnight, is often evident in people who are newcomers in the world of fitness, and this adds up to the problem.

There is no harm in increasing your muscle size, however it is important to give your skin a chance to adapt and expand in the proper amount of time. Take care of the fact that you need to regain the lost water and nutrients while you are engaged with your body-building regime. Go for supplements like Vitamin E and Zinc. These supplements boost the collagen supply in the skin.

How To Cure Stretch Marks

If it is too late for you to opt for the preventive measure and you are already noticing the stretch marks on your body, then you can follow the following tips to reduce their appearance.

Moisturize Your Skin

Exercise or body-building leads to dehydration of body. Along with regaining the lost water and nutrients, keeping the skin hydrated and moisturized is very important. We are not asking you to re-apply lotion over and over again, you just need to apply a rich-hydrating lotion, following every shower with hints of water in it. This will lock the moisture in your skin.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is available in the most grocery stores in the form of capsules or oil. All you need to do is, pick up a capsule or oil, take it in a bowl and mix it with some olive oil. Now gently rub this mixture on the affected areas. Massage the area having stretch marks with the mixture, twice a day for a few months, to see the best results!

Anti-Stretch Mark Lotions

There are a number of anti-stretch marks lotions and creams that work effectively against fresh-stretch marks. These are made specially to reduce the visibility of stretch marks and also provide your skin with extra moisture.

Endermologie and Dermal Needling

Recent advancements in technology have introduced a number of additional treatment modalities to fight stretch marks. Endermologie and dermal needling combat stretch marks by encouraging collagen synthesis.

Book Appointment for Best Dermatologist in Gurgaon for Stretch Marks & All Skin Related Problems will be taken care by Skin Specialist Dr. Meenu Sethi.