Stretch Marks On The Shoulders: Why You Get Them And How To Prevent Them

Eat well and follow a proper skin care regimen to prevent those pesky lines.

Medically reviewed by Dr. Nisha R, MBBS, MD DVL Dr. Nisha R Dr. Nisha RMBBS, MD DVL facebook_iconinsta_icon
Written by , Editor Ramona Sinha Editor Experience: 11 years
Edited by , Associate Editor Anjali Sayee Associate Editor Experience: 7 years
Fact-checked by , Commerce Editor Shiboli Chakraborti Commerce Editor Experience: 4 years

Stretch marks on the shoulders are quite common. They are especially common when you follow an intense workout routine that focuses more on building muscle mass on the shoulders, stretching the skin. Stretch marks on the shoulders are bothersome as they are tough to hide.

While you cannot make them disappear completely, you can improve their appearance and make them less noticeable. This article explores how you can prevent stretch marks on the shoulders and hide them. Scroll down.

protip_icon Trivia
Stretch marks are also called striae distensae or striae. They develop when debris (skin layer between the epidermis and subcutaneous tissues) gets ripped.

Why Do You Get Stretch Marks On Your Shoulders?

Backshot of a woman covering her stretch marks on the shoulders.
Image: Shutterstock

You develop stretch marks when you put too much pressure on your skin, making it stretch beyond its capacity. Stretch marks usually appear when you follow an intense workout and bodybuilding routine and rapidly build muscle mass on your biceps and shoulders (1), (2). The skin on your shoulders stretches rapidly at an abnormal pace to accommodate the growing muscle mass. This leads to stretch marks. They may also be caused by the tearing of the skin’s elastin fibers, genetics, pregnancy, puberty, or rapid body changes.

Men usually develop stretch marks on their shoulders, biceps, and chest area. High testosterone helps men build muscle mass more rapidly. Hence, they are more likely to develop shoulder stretch marks. Women may develop shoulder stretch marks due to rapid weight gain (3). However, they are not dangerous or cause any problems. Let’s understand in detail.

Are Stretch Marks Dangerous?

Stretch marks are not dangerous. They are a common cosmetic concern and do not pose any health risks. They also do not require any medical treatment, but some people may not like their appearance.

Although they may initially appear red or purple, they tend to fade over time, becoming less noticeable. Various creams and treatments can help minimize their appearance. If you have concerns about stretch marks, consult a dermatologist or seek advice on over-the-counter products, but remember, they are a normal part of many people’s lives and not a cause for worry.

Jessica Nicolette, a blogger, shares how she deals with stretch marks. She has had them since she was 8 years old. She writes, “With growing up and emerging into womanhood, there were more. They turned from purple to red to white. Now, they seem to be everywhere (i).” She has them on her shoulders, hips, thighs, back of knees, arms, and breasts. Jessica further adds that she gained new ones when she gained weight during the pandemic. However, over the years, she has learned to accept them. She adds, “I can also adopt the vision that my stretch marks show the ways my body has survived throughout all highs and lows.”

Now let’s take a look at the different ways to minimize their appearance.

How To Get Rid Of Stretch Marks On The Shoulders

Though it may not be possible to eliminate stretch marks, we can make them fade with time. The process also depends on your skin type and how it is healing. Often, when you lose weight and the skin is no longer tight, the stretch marks become visible.

As the results of the treatment depend on your skin type and its capacity to produce collagen, it is best to consult a dermatologist. The doctor can evaluate your skin and the marks and decide the right treatment for you.

Here are a few treatment options that dermatologists may recommend (1), (2), (3):

  • Laser therapyi  XA skin-improving technique that uses lasers to stimulate collagen formation in the dermis and epidermis
  • Microneedling
  • Microdermabrasioni  XA light cosmetic treatment that extracts the top layer of dead skin cells from the epidermis with a mechanical medium.
  • Radiofrequencyi  XA skin-tightening procedure that stimulates elastin, hyaluronic acid production, and cutaneous collagen with radio frequency energy.
  • Collageni  XThe primary structural protein that the human body produces. It is composed of hydroxyproline, glycine, and proline. injections
  • Acid peelsi  XA procedure in which a chemical solution is applied to the skin to remove the top layer and smoothen the skin texture.
  • Topical Creams and ointments

The doctor may recommend a single treatment or a combination of treatments for stretch marks. In severe cases, they may also recommend cosmetic surgery.

However, you can take precautions to ensure your skin recovers quickly and the stretch marks become milder and barely visible.

Ways To Prevent Stretch Marks On The Shoulders

1. Follow A Proper Workout Routine

share button
Image: Shutterstock

Avoid doing intense exercises to build your muscles in a short span. Follow a routine that supports gradual muscle gain. This will give your skin ample time to adjust to the changing muscle mass. It will also minimize the development of stretch marks to a great extent.

2. Avoid Taking Steroids

Steroids and related supplements can boost your muscle mass quickly. However, your skin cannot keep up with the pace, and you will develop stretch marks on the shoulders. Hence, focus on gradual muscle gain.

3. Eat Well

Following a balanced and healthy diet plan reduces your chances of sudden weight gain. Such diets are rich in essential nutrients and vitamins that keep your skin healthy. Eat lots of nutritious and whole foods. Avoid sugary and junk foods.

4. Keep Your Skin Moisturized

share button
Image: Shutterstock

Moisturization is crucial to keep your skin hydrated and elastic. Dry skin develops stretch marks easily. Hence, regularly massage your skin with moisturizers, creams, lotions, cocoa, and shea butter, etc.

You have to be patient with the process. Results often take time, and you cannot expect the stretch marks to vanish from your skin. They are going to stay. However, with time, the marks keep fading. If you want some quick fixes to hide your stretch marks while your skin recovers, here are a few ways you may try.

How To Hide Stretch Marks On The Shoulders

1. Hide Them With Clothes

share button
Image: Shutterstock

Wear tees and shirts with sleeves. Avoid wearing sleeveless or racerback tops.

2. Use A Self-Tanner

Sunless tanners or self-tanners are available in the form of lotions, sprays, and creams. Do not apply the self-tanner only to your stretch marks. This will make them noticeable. Instead, apply it to the entire area with a cotton swab.

3. Use Makeup

share button
Image: Shutterstock

You may use body makeup to hide your stretch marks. Use a waterproof concealer close to your skin tone for hiding the marks. Apply setting powder and setting spray can allow the product to stay longer.

protip_icon Did You Know?
In the initial stages, stretch marks appear as purple or reddish lesions and tend to lose their pigmentation with time.

Infographic: Shoulder Stretch Marks: Causes And Prevention

Stretch marks are not a critical health concern but have a negative impact on body image. You should love your body and try to keep it healthy. But honestly, they can affect your self-esteem and confidence.
If that’s the case and you are facing issues related to your shoulder stretch marks, go through the infographic below to learn the causes and how to prevent them.

shoulder stretch marks causes and prevention (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

Get the high-quality PDF version of this infographic.

Download Infographic in PDF version

Stretch marks on the shoulders develop when your body follows a rigorous workout routine which results in the quick development of muscle mass on your shoulders. This is when your skin stretches to accommodate the growing muscles, resulting in stretch marks. You can opt for medical procedures such as laser therapy or microdermabrasion to boost collagen production and reduce your stretch marks. To ensure your stretch marks fade over time, you can follow tips such as working out properly, eating a balanced diet, and moisturizing your stretch marks daily. You can also go for short and quicker solutions such as using concealer or self-tanners to cover the appearance of your stretch marks. Consult a dermatologist for more information.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do stretch marks go away?

No. They may fade with time but never go away.

Can stretch marks be surgically removed from my shoulder?

Stretch marks cannot be removed. They can only be made to fade through surgical and laser treatments.

Can retinol help stretch marks?

Yes, studies suggest that retinol may improve skin metabolic rate and increase cell production. This may help in improving the appearance of stretch marks (4).

Can Vaseline remove stretch marks?

Yes, Vaseline is considered an occlusive, which prevents your skin from losing water and speeds up skin barrier repair. This may help in keeping your stretch marks moisturized and healing them quickly (5).

Does Bio-oil work on stretch marks?

Yes, scientific evidence indicates that topical application of Bio-oil may improve the appearance of stretch marks over time (6).

Do silicone patches work for stretch marks?

Yes, silicone patches may increase collagen production, which may help in fading the stretch marks on your shoulders (4).

Does argan oil help stretch marks?

Yes, a study showed that early application of a cream containing argan oil improves skin elasticity, which in turn may be instrumental in the early treatment of stretch marks (7).

Key Takeaways

  • Stretch marks on the shoulder develop due to quick muscle building or weight gain that results in the skin stretching out.
  • You cannot eliminate stretch marks, but you can opt for laser therapy, collagen injections, or topical creams to gradually fade them.
  • Eating a healthy diet and regularly moisturizing your skin can prevent stretch marks from developing.

Get rid of stretch marks on your shoulders naturally with this insightful video. Explore effective home remedies, skincare techniques, and lifestyle tips to help fade and minimize the appearance of stretch marks. Check it out!

Personal Experience: Source


Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Read our editorial policy to learn more.

  1. Management of Stretch Marks (With a Focus on Striae Rubrae)
  2. Interventions for Established Stretch Marks
  3. Stretch Marks
  4. Topical management of striae distensae (stretch marks): prevention and therapy of striae rubrae and albae
  5. Effects of petrolatum on stratum corneum structure and function
  6. The effect of a topically-applied cosmetic oil formulation on striae distensae
  7. Preliminary study on the development of an antistretch marks water-in-oil cream: ultrasound assessment, texture analysis, and sensory analysis
Was this article helpful?
The following two tabs change content below.

Latest Articles