Does Weight Lifting help with Stretch Marks?

I finally made it out of my 20s. And along with my new found adulthood, I am noticing some profound stretch marks on and around my bum. Will working out help some of these go away? I would love to be able to get rid of them naturally before going to a doctor.


F, 33, Pennsylvania

Tags:woman age 25-34 stretch marks natural exercise butt

Weightlifting should help with muscle tone.  Hydration, sun and smoking avoidance help with skin tone but nothing naturally makes stretch marks disappear.  

Weightlifting does not help stretch marks at all in my experience.  T

Stretch marks, which are due to damage in the deep dermis in the skin, can only be successfully treated by removing them surgically, which will leave a scar. This is a great option for someone who has stretch marks at the lower part of their abdomen, as a tummy tuck will remove the stretch marks and the scar left is generally well-hidden. But in other areas, the options aren’t as good. Unfortunately, neither laser treatments nor skin creams can get rid of stretch marks. So my advice is don’t listen to anyone selling you a treatment that claims to do so.

Stretch marks, also referred to as striae, form on the body when your skin stretches to accommodate the rapid changes that can occur during adolescent growth spurts, puberty, pregnancy, weight gain or weight loss. The skin consists of three layers. Stretch marks form in the middle layer of the skin, the dermis, when the connective tissue is stretched beyond the limits of its elasticity.

Stretch marks are most common on the breasts, stomach, thighs, buttocks, and upper arms. They appear as purple, red or pink lines that can resemble scars. While aesthetically problematic, stretch marks generally naturally diminish over time, although in some cases they can signal an underlying medical issue.

While regular exercise like weight training represents an excellent method of toning the skin, it unfortunately will not eliminate stretch marks. The only way to effectively remove stretch marks is by seeking surgical treatments, such as microdermabrasion or laser therapy, from an experienced plastic surgeon or dermatologist. This does not mean you should give up on a regular fitness training program, however, maintaining a healthy body weight through a balanced diet and weight training can help prevent stretch marks from forming. Avoid heavy weights however, as these can contribute to new stretch marks if the skin stretches to accommodate new muscle growth. Try to gain muscle mass gradually over a given period of time.

Lifting weights, resistance workouts and regular aerobic training sessions are all excellent methods of keeping the body toned and minimizing the chance of future stretch marks forming. Red stretch marks look more conspicuous on flabby, untoned skin. Regular moisturizing and massage also benefits the skin and can improve the appearance of stretch marks, although it will not eliminate them. If you would like to eliminate your stretch marks, make an appointment with a plastic surgeon who specializes in fractional laser treatments such as the Fraxel Restore Dual laser or the Smartxide Dot laser. This treatment can help to blend the affected area with the surrounding skin, making them less visible. Sometimes multiple sessions of laser are required for an optimal outcome.

Striae distensae or stretch marks occur when the body mass beneath the skin rapidly grows or shrinks. Skin has elasticity which allows it to adapt and stretch or constrict to meet the needs of the body, but sometimes changes or growth occurs so quickly that that the skin is stretched beyond its natural elasticity.

The stretching of the skin damages it and leads to the growth of scar tissue, resulting in stretch marks. Individuals who commonly get stretch marks include: pregnant women, individuals who’ve rapidly gained an excessive amount of weight, and teenagers experiencing rapid growth spurts.

Stretch marks can only be eliminated by medical procedures like laser treatment. There’s a common misconception that exercise or stretch mark creams can help the problem, but at best, they’ll improve the appearance of the skin without addressing the stretch marks. This is because stretch marks originate from the dermis, one of the deeper layers of the skin. Toned and moisturized skin helps to improve the appearance of the skin in general but will not eliminate stretch marks. Nevertheless, engaging in a regular workout routine is beneficial for preventing future stretch marks from forming by regulating your body's weight and preventing excessive gains or losses in body mass.

However, it is important to be mindful of the way you exercise as it can actually contribute to the formation of new striae if you are losing body mass rapidly. If you engage in crash dieting and exercise strenuously throughout the day, your skin can become saggy and develop stretch marks if the body's fat and muscle decreases too quickly.

If you have extensive stretch marks that are prominent and cause you to feel self-conscious, you may wish to consider consulting with a dermatologist or plastic surgeon who can advise you on the best treatment to address your striae. There are multiple treatment options available depending on the severity of your stretch marks and their location. Laser therapy, microdermabrasion and carboxytherapy all represent popular treatment options that can effectively reduce the appearance of stretch marks and help blend them with the surrounding skin.

If you were to gain much muscle mass - the skin may be stretched some - which may improve the appearance of the stretch marks.  But overall, stretch marks are scars and need skin treatments, such as Fraxel laser or RF micro needle IntraCell, to improve.