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Will Stretch Marks Go Away If You Stop Lifting Weights?

Will Stretch Marks Go Away If You Stop Lifting Weights? Will Stretch Marks Go Away If You Stop Lifting Weights?

Overview

Stretch marks can occur from increasing muscle mass too quickly. The pink, red and purple lines that are produced often fade to white or gray over time. While stretch marks can also occur for other reasons, the stretching of skin is the main cause, and stopping weight lifting will not make them disappear. If you goal is to prevent stretch marks, should focus on gaining muscle at a gradual, slower pace.

Definition

Stretch marks often appear as multiple purple, pink or red streaks in the beginning. They are usually on the abdomen, breasts, upper arms, buttocks and thighs, according to MayoClinic.com, but can also appear in areas that have experienced rapid muscle growth. If you have been focusing on increasing arm strength and muscle size, then your new and improved muscles may have grown too quickly, causing the skin to stretch and scar on your upper arms.

Causes

Weightlifting, pregnancy, weight gain, certain medications and diseases will cause stretch marks. Stretch marks are a form of scarring. If you gain muscle too quickly by lifting weights, your skin has to stretch to accommodate the extra bulk you've created. If your muscle bulks up too fast, your body is unable to produce a sufficient amount of collagen to support the growth, causing it to stretch beyond capacity, break down and scar. If you are experiencing stretch marks from weightlifting, consider lowering the intensity of your workout, especially in the areas you are seeing the marks. For example, if you are noticing stretch marks on your arms, it may help to decrease the amount of weight you are lifting in bicep curls and tricep extensions so that you muscle growth is more gradual.

Treatment

Stretch marks are harmless and will likely fade, but unfortunately it is impossible to completely remove them. MayoClinic.com suggests several treatments that may reduce their appearance. Tretinoin cream is effective in treating newer stretch marks and reducing their appearance. Laser therapy may stimulate the growth of collagen and elastin. Microdermabrasion will encourage new skin growth, polishing the skin and reducing appearance of older stretch marks. And finally, excimer laser treatments aid in repigmentation, stimulating melanin production and helping the stretch marks match the color of their surrounding skin.

Considerations

Weightlifting may have been a culprit in creating stretch marks due to rapid muscle growth. Stopping weightlifting will not make the stretch marks go away. Don't be tempted by creams, ointments and other products that claim to reduce or eliminate stretch marks. These generally will not work and are a waste of money, BuildingMuscle.org explains. To prevent future stretch marks from weightlifting, the site recommends gaining muscle and size slowly, giving your skin time to adapt.

Solution

While stretch marks can be unsightly, they are not harmful and will generally fade with time. If you are concerned with their appearance, consult a dermatologist to discuss treatments and rule out any possible conditions or diseases that may be causing them. Continue to strength train and maintain a healthy, consistent weight to avoid creating more marks in the future.

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