Do Stretch Marks Go Away if You Lose Weight?

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Being comfortable with your body is one of the most important building blocks of feeling happy and attractive. The most important thing is to feel comfortable in your own skin.

Stretch marks are an unfortunate sign of weight change, and many people wonder if they can get rid of them as easily as they can get rid of those pesky extra pounds. Today, we’re going to take an in-depth look at stretch marks, including the things that cause them and the things that get rid of them.

Most importantly, we’re going to explore the following question, “Do stretch marks go away if you lose weight?” 


Why Do Stretch Marks Appear?

Stretch Marks

Do stretch marks go away if you lose weight? Unfortunately, usually not without further action. But that’s a pretty complicated question to answer without discussing the basics of why stretch marks happen in the first place.

Stretch marks are a physical sign of your skin stretching. While human skin is surprisingly elastic, it won’t stretch significantly without showing any signs of it. If your skin is stretched too tight, then there may be an issue producing collagen, which is the binding ingredient that keeps your skin elastic.

Human skin is more comfortable with gradual changes that don’t overstress your system, but if you go through a period of sudden growth or weight loss, you may notice that your skin is struggling to keep up.

Stretch marks are actually scars that are formed by the lack of collagen in your skin when it gets stretched out.

They start off as red or purple scar tissue that is fairly noticeable, but they will gradually turn white or lighter over time and start to blend into your skin.

Some of the most common sources of stretch marks are sudden weight gain and weight loss. And women tend to experience them more frequently than men. This is typically due to events like pregnancy or other periods of sudden weight gain or weight loss.

People like bodybuilders can also see stretch marks pop up because of the drastic changes that their bodies go through during their routines. These marks typically pop up around the muscles that see the most drastic shifts.

Finally, stretch marks can even be caused by things like injuries, especially those that cause a specific area of the body to swell up significantly.

Do Stretch Marks Go Away if You Lose Weight?

Whether or not stretch marks disappear after losing weight is highly dependent on you and your body. While stretch marks may not hurt like other skin injuries, they are made up of scar tissue, so they are most certainly injuries in the broadest sense of the term.

Like any other injury, people have different ways of reacting and healing to them, and whether or not you can recover from stretch marks is highly dependent on their severity and your system’s capability of handling injuries.

If you have a tendency to heal quickly and your scar tissue doesn’t last long in other cases, then you can expect to lose your stretch marks shortly after losing weight. However, you shouldn’t expect this to happen, as there’s just as much of a chance of your stretch marks remaining after you lose your weight.

At the very least, you can expect your stretch marks to get a little less severe after you lose weight. This happens because the skin on which you’ll find the stretch marks contracts. 

Imagine stretching out an elastic band. When you stretch out that elastic, you can see all of the little imperfections in it much more easily. However, when the elastic has contracted, it looks a lot more uniform because you can’t see all of the striations in the rubber. The same thing happens with your skin.

If your skin doesn’t lose its stretch marks after losing weight, there are a few things that you can use to make them less apparent.

How to Reduce Your Chances of Retaining Stretch Marks After Losing Weight

There are a few strategies that you can use to reduce the prevalence of stretch marks after you lose weight, and some of them are relatively tame, like drinking more water. On the other hand, more radical treatments like surgery are available for particularly stubborn stretch marks.

Staying Hydrated

One of the most effective ways to prevent stretch marks from forming in the first place is ensuring that your skin isn’t dry. Dry skin is much more susceptible to stretch marks than properly hydrated skin, and the best way to hydrate your skin is to ensure that you’re drinking the right amount of water.

Make sure that you’re drinking between 3 and 4 liters of water per day, depending on your body size. It’s easy to forget to drink enough water each day, but there are plenty of ways to stay on top of it. You can use one of the many available apps to ensure that you’re drinking the right amount of water, or you can even write it down in your journal or planner.

Avoid Rollercoaster Weight Gain and Weight Loss

If you want to make sure that the stretch marks disappear and stay off, you’ll want to be sure to stay on top of your diet and exercise regimen to keep your weight stable. A rollercoaster diet is one in which you lose and regain weight, and this can make you more vulnerable to stretch marks.

Along with increasing the likelihood of stretch marks sticking around, a rollercoaster diet can make it more difficult to lose weight after you’ve regained it. This is because your cells are more liable to store fat and less likely to lose it once they’ve already stored a large amount of fat.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is a vitamin that we and other living beings get from sunlight, and the right amount of exposure to the sun can ensure that you get your fair share of vitamin D. If you work the night shift or otherwise don’t get enough sun, then you can rely on vitamin D supplements to get your fix of it.

Studies have shown that people who are deficient in vitamin D will be more likely to get stretch marks, but further research is required to confirm this hypothesis. However, having good levels of vitamin D can keep you healthy in other ways, ensuring that your bones and teeth develop properly, among other things.

Spray Tans and Self Tanners

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Outdoor tanning isn’t a great way to hide stretch marks, as the scar tissue that makes up stretch marks doesn’t tan naturally the same way as undamaged skin. However, spray tans and self-tans are great for covering up your stretch marks.

You don’t even have to apply the sunless tanning treatment all over your body to hide the stretch marks. If you already have a relatively tanned complexion, you can apply the spray tan to the areas of your skin with stretch marks to help blend them into the surrounding skin. This can be effective in concealing stretch marks on the bum.

Derma Rollers

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Derma Rollers are little roller devices that have lots of very small, very short needles on the end. The process, known as microneedling, can be done at home, or (in the case of longer needles) at a dermatologist.

Derma rollers are commonly used to reduce small blemishes on the skin like stretch marks. Home dermarollers are generally fairly painless and inexpensive and are a great option to try for stretch mark removal.

Body Makeup

Another effective way to hide stretch marks after losing weight is by using body makeup to hide them. This won’t last as long as an over-the-counter tanning solution since body makeup will have to be reapplied after every shower.

Make sure to match the body makeup that you purchase to your skin tone to ensure that it covers up the stretch marks properly. Unfortunately, this solution won’t work at the beach or the pool, especially if you plan to take a dip in the water.

Vitamin A

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Vitamin A has also shown signs of reducing the occurrence of stretch marks after losing weight. Unlike vitamin D, vitamin A has to be applied topically to the area that has stretch marks to help them fade away.

Along with the vitamin itself, vitamin A has been used in treatments like Retin-A, which is specifically designed to fade stretch marks left over after losing weight. This Vanna Belt serum is an excellent example.


Surgery may seem like a drastic step to remove stretch marks, but it’s also one of the most effective ways to get rid of them. There are several surgical techniques that can be used to reduce the severity of stretch marks and sometimes get rid of them entirely.

One of the most common forms of surgery used to remove stretch marks is laser surgery, which zaps away the scar tissue that forms the stretch marks in the first place. Keep in mind that surgical solutions for stretch marks will be one of the pricier ways to get rid of them.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil, what can’t it do?!

Coconut oil is considered an effective at-home remedy for stretch marks, along with its other benefits for dermal health. Studies have shown that coconut oil is effective at reducing the severity of skin wounds, and since stretch marks are a specific type of wound, then it should logically also help with them.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that coconut oil is an effective way to reduce the color of stretch marks. If you have red or purple stretch marks that you’re trying to make less noticeable, try this at-home remedy.

Written by Kayla Young

Kayla is the founder of LuxeLuminous. She has worked professionally in the tanning industry for years. She has been interested in esthetics since childhood, and has tried every hair, skin, and makeup product ever produced (more or less).