Stretch Marks on Shoulder: Causes and Treatment

Stretch Marks on Shoulder Causes and Treatment

Stretch mark is a form of scar and a slightly sunken streak that develops when the skin stretches or shrinks. It is also known as “striae distensae.”

If you have witnessed stretch marks on your shoulders recently, keep reading to find out what causes them and what measures can be taken for their prevention and cure.

How Do Stretch Marks Look?

Stretch marks show up as bands of lines running across the skin. Even though they can appear almost anywhere on the body, the parts more prone to stretch marks are the stomach, legs, thighs, abdomen, breasts, arms, buttocks, etc. (1).

Shoulder Stretch Marks

Stretch marks on the shoulder are not uncommon. The change in sudden physical appearance of the skin is the major cause behind stretch marks that appear on the shoulders. Usually, they indicate the sign of rapid growth or loss of muscle or fat.

Why Do I Have Stretch Marks On My Shoulder?

stretch marks on my shoulder

Several factors cause stretch marks on shoulders or other body parts. These are-

  • Stretched skin as a result of growth or loss of muscles
  • Quick weight gain or loss
  • Lack of collagen
  • Increased cortisol

In bodybuilding or intense workouts, even those with less fat can get stretch marks where their muscles bulge. Moreover, if the skin lacks collagen, a protein responsible for skin’s elasticity, the mark may show up as it stretches.

Cortisol is a hormone produced in our body by the adrenal gland. Too much cortisol hormone level can also weaken the elastic fiber in the skin, causing stretch marks on the shoulder.

How Do We Prevent Getting Stretch Marks On Our Shoulders?

People who are body-conscious do not want stretch marks on any part of their body. If you are one of them and working out to build muscles, lose or gain weight, take the following preventive measures to keep stretch marks at bay-

  • Maintain workout routine: To prevent getting stretch marks, there should be a routine of workouts that promotes steady growth of muscles, as it can limit the chance of developing stretch marks.
  • Avoid sudden weight gain: The growth of mass or muscle should be gradual. Sudden growth will stretch the skin, developing stretch marks easily.
  • Avoid steroids for muscle buildup: Often, bodybuilders take steroids to gain muscle mass quickly. As these drugs help build muscles fast, the skin cannot keep up with the growth, resulting in stretch marks.
  • Consume protein rich diet: Include proteins and good fats in your diet to promote healthy skin. Eat nutritious food and include vitamins, antioxidants, and zinc.
  • Moisturize skin daily: Keep the skin moisturized every day. Use products with vitamins A & E for skin care, as they are known for their essential oils that have anti-aging and skin rejuvenation benefits.

How To Get Rid Of Stretch Marks On Shoulder

Home Remedies

Home Remedies

The stretch marks are not harmful to human health but are not pleasant to look at. They cannot heal with the treatment but will fade away with time. Once stretch marks start to appear, you can start with the application of topical skincare products.

  • Vitamin A: Vitamins in skincare products are retinoids (2). The use of retinoids will help in improving the appearance of stretch marks on the shoulder. It helps to rebuild a protein in the skin called collagen, fading the mark of the stretch and making it look more like normal skin.
  • Hyaluronic Acid: Hyaluronic acid is commonly used in creams, lotions, and serums (3). It is one of the best ingredients for skin healing and moisturization. Hyaluronic acid could affect the elasticity of the skin.
  • Coconut oil: Stretch marks cannot disappear with the use of coconut oil, but it can improve the skin’s overall appearance. Dry skin is less elastic and more susceptible to stretch marks. Coconut oil provides hydration and nourishment that can prevent stretch marks from happening and improve the quality of dry and damaged skin.
  • Aloe vera: Aloe vera gel is said to be the natural skin treatment. It is used to heal the skin from burns and wounds. The jelly inside the aloe vera leaves can be directly applied to the dry and damaged skin. Regular use of the aloe vera gel can prevent or fade away the stretch marks.

Medical treatment for Stretch Marks

There are many treatment options that can help disappear the stretch marks. If you are not satisfied with the home remedies and looking for a permanent solution, visit a dermatologist who may recommend any of these medical treatments for stretch marks-

  • Microdermabrasion: Microdermabrasion is the only skin care treatment that can be used on mild-moderate stretch marks. This procedure does not altogether remove the marks but reduces their appearance. It is recommended to have a few more sessions for the positive results of this procedure.
  • Microneedling: Microneedling is another option that stimulates new collagen and new elastin fibers, resulting in firming and tightening of the loose skin (4). This procedure involves microneedling, pricking deep into the skin to target the healing of the skin in a more effective way.
  • Radiofrequency therapy: In this treatment, the doctor sends energy waves into the skin that stimulate collagen production for firmer skin (5). Often, radiofrequency treatment is combined with the microneedling procedure to transmit the energy waves even deeper into the skin. The needle penetrates deep into the skin and releases radiofrequency to stimulate collagen.
  • Laser therapy: Laser treatment will likely increase collagen production in the skin and help lighten the stretch mark. It involves focused light on the stretch mark affected area of the body part. This treatment requires multiple sessions to show effective results.


Anyone can get stretch marks; however, some people are more prone to getting it than others. Moreover, getting stretch marks can also be genetic; if people you are related to have stretch marks, you are also likely to develop them.

However, stretch marks on the shoulder are common in people who are into bodybuilding and weight lifting. Good treatment at home and keeping your body well moisturized with the right products can fade the marks of the stretches on the shoulder with time, but not vanish.

Always make sure to check with your doctor before undergoing any cosmetic treatments.


  1. National Library Of Medicine – Stretch Marks
  2. National Library Of Medicine – Topical management of striae distensae (stretch marks): prevention and therapy of striae rubrae and albae
  3. National Library Of Medicine – Efficacy of a New Topical Nano-hyaluronic Acid in Humans
  4. National Library Of Medicine – Microneedling: Advances and widening horizons
  5. National Library Of Medicine – Treatment of Stretch Marks Using a New Formulation Combining Nanofractional Radiofrequency Plus Magnetic Nanofractional Radiofrequency

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