Stretch Marks Aren't Just A Pregnancy Problem: Overcoming The Blemishes

You'll often hear women discuss their hatred of stretch marks, which are often a result of the rapid weight gain due to pregnancy. However, if you are bulking up at the gym by doing weight training, these blemishes may be the bain of your existence as well. When the goal is to look as good as possible, especially in a competitive arena, stretch marks can be one of your biggest downfalls.

Stretch marks are caused simply by putting on weight too quickly. Some bodybuilders are proud of their stretch marks because it indicates a dedication to the sport, but most just wish they would disappear. They do-kind of. When stretch marks first appear, they can range in color from pink to brown, and as you continue to gain wait turn to darker shades, and even purple. However, overtime, your stretch marks will become a lot less noticeable because they will fade to a lighter color-usually two or three shades lighter than your natural skin tone. There are many products on the market that are said to decrease the appearance of stretch marks and other blemishes, but like creams that are marketed to reduce wrinkles, most, if not all, do not work. Other remedies include fish oil and Vitamin E, but again, this is a long shot.

If you truly want to rid yourself of stretch marks, take preventative measures when you are bodybuilding. Humans have three layers of skin-the epidermis, the dermis, and the hypodermis. Stretch marks occur in the dermis layer, the layer that is responsible for smooth skin because it produces collagen and elastic fibers. Usually, your skin has enough elasticity to keep up with your growth, but major spurts, like during puberty, pregnancy, or over bulking cycles, max out your skin's potential. Like with a rubber band that is stretched to the limit, too much weight gain or growing causes the elastic fibers in your dermis to break, causing the stretch marks. You can prevent this buy growing more slowly, and by practicing healthy habits. Smoking, for example, decreases skin elasticity. When you are bulking up, try to concentrate on losing weight as well, which will help you compensate for muscle growth. If all else fails and the stretch marks really bother you, consult your doctor about laser surgery which can help fade or eliminate these blemishes.

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