Stretch Marks on the Stomach – You Don’t Have to Have Unpleasant Reminders of Your Belly Fat

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Stretch marks in the skin are a common problem whenever the tissue beneath the skin grows so fast that the skin can’t keep up.

Since the fastest growing tissue for most of us is our belly fat, stretch marks across the belly are a frequent complication of rapid weight gain and rapid weight loss.

There are some very easy ways to deal with belly stretch marks-but they work best if the treatments are begun even before the stretch marks are noticeable.

What Causes Stretch Marks on Stomach?

Stretch marks can appear for a wide variety of reasons, some of them predictable, others not.

One example of an unpredictable weight change that can result in a stretch mark is during adolescence when our bodies go through puberty. By growing a lot in a short period of time, our skin is often stretched and torn, thus leaving marks.

There are situations in which rapid weight gain is predictable, on the other hand. Women may gain up to 50 pounds during pregnancy. This is by far one of the most common reasons for stretch marks on the belly or stretch marks on the side of the stomach.

Both women and men gain weight rapidly when they are put on steroid medications for breathing problems, or when they are put on Actos or Avandia for diabetes. Actors may gain weight to play roles, and bodybuilders working too hard on their six-pack abs may, unfortunately, develop a six-pack of stretch marks.

Fortunately, these situations in which weight gain is predictable are much easier to control. Because the sooner you know you’ll gain/lose a lot of weight, the sooner you can begin preventive care.

How to Get Rid of Stretch Marks on Stomach

If you are in any of these circumstances, take special care to prevent stretch marks by moisturizing the skin. Using a lanolin-based cream, like Mother’s Friend, or a shea butter cream, like Palmer’s Stretch Mark Cream, keeps the skin supple.

The more moisture there is the skin, the farther it can stretch without making more collagen, and the more likely it is to keep up with the belly’s growth beneath it.

Another method of keeping stretch marks in check is a regular belly rub. Circular motions around the navel relieve tension under the skin stretching across belly fat. This can be done by you, your partner, or by a professional massage therapist, but once a day is ideal.

The use of a steel massage roller also stimulates the growth of collagen in the skin, but it is not necessary to “get rough” with your belly fat to stop stretch marks.

It is never helpful to draw blood with a steel roller during massage sessions. If you need a numbing cream to use the roller, you are rubbing far too hard. The most helpful steel roller massage is uncomfortable, but not painful.

All but women who are pregnant or breastfeeding can fight existing stretch marks with creams that stimulate the growth of the skin. The vitamin A-based cream Revitol works on the same principle as Accutane, Retin-A, and Differin, but without their toxic levels of vitamin A derivatives.

The widely popular stretch mark product Mederma stimulates the production of collagen with asiaticides. These are not chemicals that toxic to Asians, but rather plant compounds from Centella Asiatica, also known as Gotu kola, that revive the antioxidants that recharge vitamin C. Any skin cream containing ascorbyl palmitate, the form of vitamin C that can be absorbed through the skin, has the same effect.

Home microdermabrasion kits are useful for the very ambitious, but it is better to start off by using exfoliants. These products remove dead skin that keeps the skin around stretch marks tight.

If you have black, brown, or yellow skin tones, however, be sure not to use products that make your skin sting. The sting is a sign of tissue destruction that can cause age spots to replace stretch marks-which is not the desired result!

Dermatologists sometimes prescribe Accutane, Retin-A, and Differin to stimulate the rapid growth of the skin that fills in stretch marks. These products typically only work on new, red, or purple stretch marks. They are expensive and usually not covered by health insurance. They require careful monitoring with regular blood workups, and they are not safe for use during pregnancy.

However, these pharmaceutical treatments often get good results and get those good results quickly. Laser and intensive light therapies are the next steps.

By far, the best way to handle stretch marks on the stomach is to stop them before they ever occur. Regular use of moisturizers is your first line of defense. The sooner you start your skincare routine, the easier and the less expensive it will be.

Will Scratching Cause Stretch Marks on My Stomach?

Pregnancy can be a period in which you find yourself uncontrollably scratching your belly. Other reasons for itchy belly are sunburn or improper clothing fabrics.

But the answer is no, scratching will not cause stretch marks. Chances are, your skin is itching because it’s not properly hydrated. And as we’ve seen, improper hydration can indeed provoke and worsen stretch marks.

But scratching itself does not cause such long-lasting scars. It can leave marks if you scratch yourself until you draw blood.

Tip: If you’re dealing with intense itchiness, we highly encourage you to trim down your nails. Long nails are better at tearing the skin, and these small tears can get irritated. Short nails can soothe the itch, without tearing your skin.

Stretch Marks with Abs – Do They Go Together?

A lot of people, especially bodybuilders or women who’ve just gone through pregnancy, look at their stretch-marked bellies and worry they’ll never have that six-pack they crave with those marks.

But the truth is, you can easily have toned abs with stretch marks because abs and marks don’t live on the same level. Stretch marks form within the dermis (the middle layer of skin), whereas muscles are underneath all layers of skin.

Stretch marks are superficial, and the only way we can think of that they might impact you getting fit abs is the pain that is often associated with fresh marks, stopping you from exercising.

Can You Have A Flat Stomach with Stretch Marks?

Yes, you absolutely can.

Having a flat stomach with stretch marks is not only possible, but it’s encouraged. See, by working out, you tighten the muscles in your body, and as the muscles in your hips, sides, and stomach tighten, they also promote the healing process.

Exercise stimulates the blood flow in that area, which in turn speeds up cell turnover and stimulates the production of collagen and elastin, leaving skin suppler and better looking.

Can You Get A Six-Pack with Stretch Marks?

Absolutely. Through regular exercise and the right combination of fat-burning cardio workouts and endurance training, you can build up your six-pack within just a few months of your rapid weight loss.

But Will Getting Abs Get Rid of My Stretch Marks?

Unfortunately, no. Once again, muscles exist on a different level, and as such, can’t actually get rid of stretch marks per se. What they can do, however, is make your stretch marks appear less pronounced.

One main issue is that stretch marks appear worse on flabby skin, which is often what rapid weight loss leaves behind. Regular exercise helps tighten the skin, and this, in turn, makes your stretch marks appear smaller and less severe.

Can I Get A Six-Pack After Pregnancy?

Why shouldn’t you? Of course, you can. Naturally, you might not be able to begin training right away after birth, because your body will need a period to recover.

Also, we don’t encourage jumping straight into heavy training, because your body is most likely unaccustomed to that after these long months of physical inactivity. Take it gradually, grow your practice, and remember persistence can get anyone a six-pack.

We also encourage you to look for exercises specifically for post-pregnancy. The abdominal wall has been pushed, and exercises that work in normal circumstances might not be appropriate for you. This is why it’s vital to find a training routine specifically for your physical condition.

But there’s absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t be able to get a six-pack with regular exercise.

How to Cover Stretch Marks on Stomach?

Building a toned physique or a six-pack takes time, and while you do that, you probably won’t be too keen on exposing your belly stretch marks to the world.

First of all, we’d like to point out that there is nothing wrong with having stretch marks. They remind you of a huge change you’ve gone through and, as such, are a part of who you are, and you should not feel ashamed by them or like you need to hide them.

However, we know a lot of people do, so let’s look at some of the best ways to conceal your stretch marks while you hopefully grow your self-confidence.

Aside from all the above methods to treat stretch marks and reduce their severity, consider wearing loose-fitting clothes to conceal your stretch marks.

At the Beach:

  • Try a full-body swimsuit or a two-piece that covers your abdomen. There are many kinds of swimwear designed specifically for hiding stretch marks, some with longer tops, others with higher bottoms. Look around the web and find a model that does the trick for you.
  • Try a waterproof body concealer. Just like in face make-up, thee specially designed concealers neatly hide the stretch marks and fill them in. However, these might not work so well on raised stretch marks on the stomach. For that, we’d recommend a swimsuit.


Alternatively, you can opt for a more permanent form of concealing your marks – tattooing over them. This practice is more common than you’d think, but you will have to talk with a doctor and/or a professional tattoo artist before you can make a decision.

Although tattooing can be a great and gorgeous way to conceal any scars, we recommend that you take the time to think this through. We love tattoos, but we know how awful stretch marks can seem.

Particularly when they’re in the initial, angry red phase, and you’d do anything to hide them away. Don’t. Through proper care and patience, they will get better, and so, you might end up regretting your tattoo.

Last Words

The bottom line is, stretch marks on the stomach can seem like a huge deal. But they’re not. You can have a perfectly nice life post-stretch marks. You can go swimming, and you can even get a six-pack.

In other words, stretch marks or no, the sky’s the limit, so don’t despair.