Stretch marks in women usually appear after adolescence. However, there are men who also notice the appearance of these marks on the skin when they strength train. Why do stretch marks appear on the legs?
Beyond being overweight or obese, stretch marks on the legs can appear due to strength training. Marks may appear on the buttocks, calves, and thighs when the skin is stretched.
What are stretch marks?
Stretch marks are colored streaks that appear on the skin. They usually occur when the skin is stretched beyond its natural limit. Strain can be the result of weight gain, but it can also occur from rapid growth. Stretch marks are more common in women, but can also appear in men.
Many times they frequently develop on the inner thighs. They can be bothersome, but they usually don’t hurt and aren’t an indication of a larger health problem. They normally fade from red or purple to white or silver on their own. We can also treat stretch marks while they are red so their appearance fades.
Why do they appear on the thighs?
Stretch marks on the inner thighs occur naturally. They form in the middle layer of the skin after being stretched too far. When the connective fibers of the skin are stretched too far, they can tear and leave a mark.
This new scar may initially appear red or purple due to blood vessels showing through the skin. Over time, stretch marks can fade to a silver or white hue and become more difficult to treat.
Some common causes of stretch marks on the inner thigh include:
- Weight gain
- muscle gain
- rapid growth
There are also some medical conditions related to these brands:
- hormonal imbalance
- steroid use
- corticosteroid creams
- Cushing’s syndrome
- Marfan syndrome
Stretch marks on the calves
Stretch marks can be seen in the twins of people who have experienced rapid growth spurts or weight fluctuations, including teenagers and pregnant women. Stretch marks that appear horizontal on the calves are due to horizontal growth, most likely growth in height. Stretch marks that appear vertically on the calves are due to vertical growth, most likely due to rapid weight gain, either from increased fat or muscle size in the lower legs. Stretch marks first appear dark red or purple, but fade to a light color.
People who do a significant amount of strength training on their lower legs and calves may notice stretch marks on their calves. This is caused by the rapid stretching of the skin as the size of the muscle increases. Athletes such as runners may see stretch marks develop on their upper calves due to increased calf musculature.
Skin tone, skin color, elasticity and collagen composition, and hormonal imbalance of the skin can all be factors that can cause stretch marks and are difficult to change. Light-skinned women may develop more stretch marks than women with darker skin tones. People with dry or rough skin can also be prone to stretch marks. These stretch marks may appear horizontally or vertically and never completely disappear, but the overall appearance may become less and less noticeable.
Stretch marks vary in color depending on how old they are, but they can also vary in size.
In the early stages, the marks on the inner thighs may appear red or purple. When the middle layer skin is torn, the area becomes thinner. The mark may be red because you can now see the blood vessels under the skin. These blood vessels facilitate the treatment of stretch marks during this stage.
Over time, the blood vessels will narrow and the stretch marks will change color. Marks that were once red can turn skin color, silver, or white. These stretch marks are more difficult to treat.
Stretch marks can be sore to the touch. They can also itch from skin trying to repair itself. If we experience any worsening of symptoms, we will seek medical attention. This may be an indication of a rash or another medical condition.
Treatments and remedies
Exposed stretch marks, specifically on the inner legs, may be something we want to get rid of. Although there is no cure for stretch marks, there are treatments available to soften their appearance. In some cases, they can go away naturally over time.
Treatments to reduce the appearance of your stretch marks include:
- Moisturizers . We can apply a vitamin-rich moisturizer, oil, or lotion to your stretch marks. Keeping skin hydrated can increase or maintain skin elasticity.
- Exfoliation . Regular exfoliation will remove dead skin from your thighs and can improve skin regeneration.
- Topical creams . Prescription topical creams will not only lighten scars, but will also help restore elasticity to your skin.
- Laser therapy . A more expensive approach is laser therapy, a procedure that uses lasers to stimulate the growth and regeneration of skin cells. This treatment may require multiple visits for effective results.
- Microdermabrasion . Microdermabrasion is a procedure that uses exfoliating crystals to reduce the appearance of stretch marks. These crystals remove dead skin from the affected areas.
By reducing red stretch marks, the goal is to minimize redness, skin swelling, and irritation. For white stretch marks, the goal is to increase collagen and elastic fiber levels in the skin, reduce inflammation, and moisturize the skin. Topical remedies are popular for preventing and treating stretch marks. However, there is little evidence that over-the-counter ointments, creams, or gels are effective.
There is more evidence to suggest that laser and light therapies can reduce stretch marks. However, the studies tend to be of low quality, involving only a small number of participants, and the results are often difficult to interpret.
People are increasingly interested in minimally invasive procedures that can help reduce the appearance of stretch marks. These techniques can increase collagen production, decrease the presence of blood vessels, and improve skin pigmentation.
Dermatologists can offer:
- ablative lasers
- non-ablative lasers
- copper bromide laser
- Fractional radiofrequency with microneedles
- Platelet Rich Plasma Dermal Injections
- microneedle therapy
- intense pulsed light
- Light-based therapies, including UVB, IR light, chemical peel, electroplating, and carboxytherapy
Certain products can help a person reduce the appearance of stretch marks. According to one study, while many products claim to prevent stretch marks on thighs, there is little research to back up many of the claims. However, certain types may work for some people.
Some manufacturers claim that the active ingredient, lupine seed extract , increases collagen in the skin. However, there are no published clinical trials confirming this fact.
Many products for stretch marks contain centella , which increases cell reproduction. According to research, women rated centella-containing products as more effective than other products.
Researchers have been testing home remedies for stretch marks, including olive, coconut, and almond oil . They noted that the application of almond oil led to a significant difference in the percentage of people who developed stretch marks. About 20% of people who used almond oil with massage techniques developed stretch marks, compared to 38.8% of participants who used almond oil alone and 41% of the control group.