Working out has been one of the biggest trends of the past decades.
Everyone, especially women are all into it (well most women), some say they do it to become stronger, some just want to lose some weight, but the most pervasive reason of all is to tone up, to get slim thick or curvy.
Nevertheless, most people who want to tone up only have in mind as their end goal the image of the nicely toned body, attractive from all angles, but Nothing, however, relatively prepares them from the atrocities that follows the prize!
A lot of people associate where I’m from associate the cause of stretch marks with either being fat, having bad hygiene, using bad cosmetic products such as lotions or creams.
But that’s not entirely true.
What are stretch marks?
Stretch marks are long, narrow streaks, stripes, or lines that develop on the skin. They occur when the skin is suddenly stretched and are extremely common.
Anyone can develop stretch marks, although they tend to affect more women than men.
They can occur on a range of body parts, including the stomach, thighs, hips, breasts, upper arms, and lower back.
This type of scarring happens when the skin cannot resume normal it’s normal form after a period of intense growth, often due to pregnancy, weight gain, weight loss, weight lifting, or puberty.
Stretch marks are scars or disfiguring lesions. They are also called striae, striae distensae (SD), striae atrophicans, and striae gravidarum.
The most common areas affected include:
- and arms
Stretch marks are not physically dangerous but can cause problems with self-image and anxiety. For some people, stretch marks are a significant cosmetic concern that can affect day-to-day living.
However, the focus today would be on stretch marks caused by weight lifting.
Weight lifting and stretch marks
One of the most common ways to grow any part of the body, especially the butt and hips is through weight training.
Though you can pretty much get an improvement using your own body weight, the rate of change is often slower and there are often limits to the size you can actually achieve.
Nonetheless, since most people are trying to get as big as possible, the fastest way possible, weight lifting is often the best option for them.
As you all know, the skin consists of three key layers.
But stretch marks form in the dermis, or middle layer of the skin when the connective tissue is stretched beyond the limits of its elasticity. This is normally due to the rapid expansion or contraction of the skin.
As the body grows, the connecting fibers in the dermis slowly stretch to accommodate slow growth. However, rapid growth leads to sudden stretching. This causes the dermis to tear, allowing deeper layers of skin to show through.
This can form stretch marks and contributes to the way they look.
I would often advise people who are trying to get bigger, especially when they are prone to stretch marks not to go all-in all at once. It is best to build slowly, starting with your normal body, then slowly creep up the weight as your body outgrows the current weight being used.
this is probably one of the best ways to prevent and control the appearance of stretch marksHalo
Stretch marks eventually fade to a silvery, white, or glossy appearance, due to the pale fat beneath the skin becoming visible instead of the usual blood vessels.
They are more likely to develop and become more severe where there are high levels of circulating cortisone (stress), or when cortisone is applied to the skin. Cortisol, the stress hormone produced by the adrenal glands, is converted into cortisone. This weakens elastic fibers in the skin.
What to do about it?
Treatment for stretch marks can be costly and is not always effective.
Creams, gels, lotions, and cosmetic surgery have all been proposed as treatments for stretch marks, although there is little medical evidence to support the effectiveness of such treatments.
Current treatments are particularly limited in their ability to deliver long-lasting improvements for all skin types.
Makeup, however, can be used to conceal stretch marks on more exposed areas of the body while they are more pronounced. You can also check out our previous post on How Hollywood hides blemishes for more insights!
Using oil, lotions, and other topical mixes to treat weight lifting induced stretch marks
There is no high-quality evidence that applying lotions, creams, or oils to the skin can help the appearance of stretch marks.
Topical treatments are preparations containing active ingredients that are applied to the surface of the skin.
Several studies have compared the effects of topical treatments to preparations containing no active ingredients, or to the effects of receiving no treatment at all.
These investigations found no statistically significant difference between the groups, suggesting that currently available treatment options do not enhance or speed up the healing process of stretch marks.
Some would swear by microdermabrasion, but I don’t know since I’ve never done one before, but hey, if you have, either by yourself using DIY kits or by a cosmetologist, tell us how it went, this platform is more than open to discussions! 😉
But as the title of this post suggests, it is more about preventing the further appearance of those dreaded marks.
Tips on Preventing stretch marks
Stretch marks cannot always be prevented. However, the following steps may help to reduce the risk:
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Avoid yo-yo dieting.
- Eat a balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals. Consuming a suitable amount of vitamins A and C can help support the skin, as well as the minerals zinc and silicon.
- Aim for slow and gradual weight gain or bulking when working out.
- Drink six to eight glasses of water every day.
- using a good moisturizer during the process will also help keep you skin supple and elastic, this is probably on of the biggest MUSTs when it comes to prevention!
We have a previous post on How to get the most out of your moisturizers so go check it out!
What are your thoughts on stretch marks? Is it something you are insecure about if you have them? (Cause I do, on my butt!😅)
let me know your take on it…
Since it’s been a while since I first uploaded this post, I figured out that I needed to make some additional notes on the topic since the search queries from my readers suggest that most are looking for a way to “cure”, rather than prevent. For this, I would be publishing a follow-up sequel to this as I have learned a lot during the time period from the first upload to now. So if you are just visiting my blog for the first time and are yet to subscribe, please do so so you can be notified when the sequel goes live.