While many people associate stretch marks with rapid growth during puberty, pregnancy or weight gain, few associate it with working out. In fact, the rapid increase in the size of muscle tissue due to working out and bodybuilding is often a cause of stretch marks, particularly on men.
Commonly, stretch marks caused by working out or bodybuilding tend to occur on the biceps, shoulders and thighs, but they can occur in any area of rapid growth.
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What Causes Stretch Marks Due To Working Out?
Stretch marks are deep scars in the skin tissue which form as a result of that area of the body growing at a rate faster than the skin is able to adapt to. This means the skin stretches past its point of elasticity, leaving a mark. This mark will usually be purple or red as it first forms and will fade to a silvery, white line over time.
In the case of bodybuilding, workout plans are strict and intense, therefore resulting in a rapid increase in the size of areas of muscle such as the biceps and thighs. This can result in stretch marks occurring in these areas.
How to Prevent Stretch Marks From Working Out
The nature of bodybuilding means that workout programs often contradict a lot of advice for preventing stretch marks. However, if you are willing to wait a bit longer for your gym targets, you can still achieve the results you want while also reducing your risk of stretch marks.
Avoid Sudden Weight Gain or Loss
This is the most difficult advice to follow when you are also following a workout program. However increasing your size gradually will give your skin more time to adapt to the changing body mass meaning it will be more elastic and therefore less likely to stretch past its limit.
Have A Nutritious Diet
This may be easier to follow, but in particular, you need to ensure you are eating foods which contain nutrients which are good for you skin. These include vitamins, zinc and anti-oxidants. By maintaining your skin’s health from the inside, it will be more supple and therefore more resilient against damage.
There are plenty of products available on the market which help prevent, reduce and eliminate stretch marks. In addition to maintaining your skin’s health from the inside by eating a healthy diet, you can also maintain it from the outside by keeping it moisturized. Many of the products can be used for both prevention and cure, making them much more cost effective for you.
Products containing ingredients such as vitamin A and E, shea butter and cocoa butter are most effective, but if you want something more heavy-duty you can ask your doctor for a retinoid treatment. Retinoids should not be used during pregnancy though as it can cause hard to the unborn baby.
If you prefer an oil-based product, you can try Bio-oil, which contains PurCellin oil, which many people have used successfully to prevent, reduce and eliminate stretch marks and other scars. Alternatively, you can use natural oils such as coconut oil and olive oil, which both contain many nutrients and anti-oxidants that your skin will absorb.
How To Get Rid Of Stretch Marks From Working Out And Body Building
Continue Using Preventative Methods
If you already have stretch marks, then you may be looking to reduce their appearance and even get rid of them completely. Continue to use the methods mentioned above for preventing them. In the case of using topical products in particular, the sooner you start, the more effective they are.
Use Stretch Mark Removal Cream
If you haven’t already, start applying stretch removal cream as soon as you spot your stretch marks. Ideally, this is while they are in the purple/red stage as the skin is more responsive when the marks are this color. Massage in using circular movements as this will encourage the blood circulation to the area, which brings oxygen and nutrients to the cells from the inside.
Certain wavelengths of light are thought to aid healing, and infrared light which penetrates deeper into the skin can warm the skin at a lower level, speeding up cell processes and encouraging the production of collagen and elastin which maintain the suppleness of the skin. By using red light therapy, you can promote healing processes and enhance the effectiveness of stretch mark cream products deeper in the skin tissue. This can be done at home as there are many products on the market for safe, at-home use by untrained professionals, meaning it is a fraction of the cost that your dermatologist would charge for the same treatment. Intense, pulsed light (IPL) may be the most effective type of light therapy for removing stretch marks.
Microdermabrasion can reduce the appearance of stretch marks by softening the look of the surrounding ski and evening skin tone. It may not eliminate stretch marks when used alone, however, like IPL it can increase the absorption of product into the skin and enhance the results of the product. Microdermabrasion can also be done at home, with may at-home kits available to buy.
Overall, you can see that prevention of stretch marks is better than cure and the sooner you begin to treat existing stretch marks the better the results you are likely to get. By maintaining a healthy diet and preventing rapid weight gain or loss, you can help to prevent stretch marks.
If you are interested in buying a stretch mark removal cream, view our reviews of the best cream products on the market.