Stretch Mark Prevention
After working out for two months, I've noticed that I have small stretch marks on my arms from lifting. How can I prevent them?
Author: Richard Weil, M.Ed.,
Medical Editor: Jay W. Marks, MD
Stretch marks occur when the elastic middle layer of skin called the dermis is stretched. Stretching leads to a breakdown of connective tissue, inflammation, and then scar formation as the injury heals. It's the scarring that causes stretch marks to appear. Stretch marks are common during puberty and rapid growth spurts in adolescence (they typically heal by the late teens or early 20s), pregnancy, excessive weight gain and obesity, when muscle mass increases rapidly and stretches the skin (like during bodybuilding), and sometimes when individuals use topical or high doses of ingested steroids for many weeks or months. Stretch marks are not a health risk but can be cosmetically unappealing.