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
By Ramona Sinha, Certified Skin Care Coach

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.

Why Do You Get Stretch Marks On Your Shoulders?

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


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.

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). But there are 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 therapy
  • Microneedling
  • Microdermabrasion
  • Radiofrequency
  • Collagen injections
  • Acid peels
  • 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

Woman is working out in a gym.


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

Woman is applying moisturizer on her shoulder.


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

Woman is wearing full sleeve clothes to hide her shoulder stretch marks.


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

Woman is applying makeup on her shoulders.


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.

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.

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.


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Ramona is an editor at StyleCraze. Prior to that, she authored over 200 articles on skin and hair care. She... more

Dr. Nisha R

Dr. Nisha is a clinical dermatologist and aesthetic physician. She completed her MBBS at Chettinad Hospital & Research Institute and... more