Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Search in posts
Search in pages

Do stretch marks go away if you lose weight?

Updated January 11, 2021

Woman working out at the gym

With rapid weight gain comes those annoying red and purple stretch marks. While they are not worrisome health-wise, they can have a huge impact on self-esteem. This leads many people to wonder: if they lose weight, will the stretch marks go away?

Probably not. But before you get frustrated, it helps to understand what stretch marks are. Stretch marks occur due to excess strain being placed on the skin. When weight is gained quickly, the skin is stretched beyond its usual capacity and does not have the elasticity to keep up. This causes tiny tears in the middle layers of the skin, also known as the dermis. Those tears are harmless but will appear on the skin as red and purple stripes.

When you lose weight, your skin begins to shrink down with your body. While less strain is being placed on the skin, that does not necessarily mean that the damage done previously will be reversed. If caught early, some purple and red stretch marks may fade before they had the chance to scar. However, silver or white stretch marks are likely there to stay, even with weight loss.

There are things that you can do to reduce the appearance of the stretch marks, like staying hydrated, moisturizing your skin, and watching your weight. Keeping the skin supple and hydrated will increase elasticity and help it rejuvenate. Stretch mark removal creams are also a fairly inexpensive way to reduce the appearance of these marks. These creams work by plumping up the top layers of skin to hide the discolored scars below. With time, these creams can fade the appearance of even old, white stretch marks.

New stretch marks

If your stretch marks are still red or purple, there’s a chance that your stretch marks may fade with weight loss. As your skin resumes its pre-weight gain shape, the pulling that was causing the marks is eliminated. If the stretch marks were recent and red, then they will likely slowly disappear.

Old Stretch Marks

Stretch marks that are silver or white tend to have a more difficult time reducing in appearance after weight loss. These stretch marks have actually scarred beneath the surface of your skin. This means that even though the pulling on your skin from weight gain has stopped, the scars will persist. However, there are still treatments you can try to reduce the appearance of the stripes on your skin post-weight loss. Laser treatments and stretch mark creams have both been proven effective at diminishing the harsh appearance of stretch marks on skin.