Stretch marks on your arms are formed in the same way as all stretch marks: rapid bodily growth. When your body increases in size due to bodybuilding, weight gain, pregnancy, or puberty, your skin stretches to accommodate. Sometimes our bodies grow a bit too fast for our skin to keep up, causing microscopic tears. This tearing causes the signature scars that we know as stretch marks.
While stretch marks are not harmful or even painful, many people still wish to avoid them for cosmetic reasons. No matter your situation, here’s what you need to know about some of the different ways that stretch marks form, as well as how to properly care for your skin to reduce their formation and appearance.
Stretch Marks after Bodybuilding
Although many people associate stretch marks with obesity, puberty, and pregnancy, accelerated muscle growth is also a common cause of stretch marks. While simply lifting weights will likely not give you stretch marks, intense bodybuilding could. Athletes who pair weightlifting with supplements, steroids, or an extreme diet to achieve faster muscle growth may unintentionally give themselves stretch marks.
This is very common with weight lifters who follow a ‘bulk and cut’ diet. As the name implies, a bulk and cut diet is one where an athlete consumes excess calories to put on body mass before then cutting back on calories to burn off body fat. While this might work as a shortcut to a larger, more muscular frame, many athletes are surprised when they notice stretch marks on their arms, shoulders, chest, and other areas typically targeted by bodybuilding.
If you’re planning to follow a bulk and cut diet, be sure to check with a doctor or dietitian beforehand and make sure that your skin is well moisturized and hydrated. A stretch mark cream will help your skin keep up with your body’s rapid change and may reduce or even prevent the formation of stretch marks.
Stretch Marks after Weight Loss
Most people go through periods of weight gain and loss throughout their life, whether it be from pregnancy, diet, aging, or a medical issue. Rapidly losing a significant amount of weight can sometimes result in saggy or loose skin. Sometimes people confuse this loose skin with stretch marks, but it’s important to note that stretch marks are caused by gaining weight not losing it.
Loose skin after weight loss can result from the opposite effect of what causes stretch marks: Your body may shrink too quickly for your skin to keep up.
You can firm up loose skin with exercise, topical remedies, and even surgery, but for most people, loose skin will firm up over time. As with bodybuilding, if you are currently going through weight fluctuations, you can combat the formation of stretch marks with a stretch mark prevention cream. You can also pair your stretch mark prevention cream with a hydro-thermal accelerator for even more effective results.
These creams don’t just help prevent stretch marks from forming, they will also encourage cell turnover and regeneration, gradually fading the appearance of your stretch marks over time. While stretch marks are permanent, they will continue to become less visible with proper care.