Struggling with stretch marks on forearms? If so, you’ll agree with us that those streaky marks are an eyesore; especially during the summer months when you just want to let loose. Sure, they aren’t harmful to the health in any way, but they do quite a number on self-image. The crazy thing about them is the fact that you never know where you’re going to be hit. you could have stretch marks on the outer thighs, the stomach, and, of course, the forearm. Nevertheless, the factors responsible are pretty much the same across the board. 

Just so you can get ahead of them in one way or the other, we’re going to let you in on some of the reasons stretch marks appear on your forearms. Armed with this information (pun intended), you should be able to get ahead of the situation altogether. 

1. Weight Gain

The first and most common reason you’ll notice stretch marks on your forearms is that you’re adding weight. In fact, it’s so common that many believe that it’s the only reason people have stretch marks. That’s obviously quite wrong, but it is a major reason and we are about to tell you why and how. 

Here’s a simple way to explain this phenomenon. Imagine that the skin around your forearm is a polythene bag. If you stuff a polythene bag with too many items it will eventually stretch out. There will even be streaks on it similar to stretch marks. 

This is basically what happens when you put on weight too fast for your skin to adjust. The increase in mass is a bit too much, but being the team player that it is, your skin adjusts accordingly. At the end of the day, the price you have to pay for that comes in the form of stretch marks. 

2. A Break in Elastin or Collagen

When it comes to the all-around vitality of the skin, elastin and collagen are the major players. They are both major building blocks of the skin and go a long way to ensure that it snaps back in place when needed. 

First, we have elastin, which is a protein that is responsible for your skin snapping back in place when you’re pinched or prodded. It has a lot of other functions besides that, so this is quite a simplistic description of its abilities. Altogether, once the skin can no longer stretch as far as your body requires it to, a break in elastin occurs. 

Collagen is an even bigger player than elastin and this protein is a building block for many components of the body, including the skin. In fact, while elastin is a subheading, collagen is the entire topic. 

Based on this information, once a break in elastin or collagen occurs in the forearm area, you are definitely going to have stretch marks on that site. Think of stretch marks as the scars that form afterwards. 


3. Medication and Cosmetics 

stretch marks on forearms causes

Image Credit: Laurynas Mereckas

So, your skin has certain structural elements such as the protein elastin that was mentioned above. Some of the medications prescribed these days actually weaken these structural elements. This goes on to make the skin more prone to develop stretch marks under any sort of pressure. 

Such medication includes cortisone, which is commonly prescribed for anything ranging allergies to arthritis. They also come in the form of corticosteroid lotions, cream, as well as pills. These substances are a catalyst for stretch marks since they actually decrease the stretchability of the skin. So, if there’s any change in the size of your arms (due to weight gain or loss) when taking meds like this, stretch marks will probably follow. 

4. Weight Loss

Just to be clear, this happens mostly in cases of rapid weight loss. Again, since the body does not have adequate time to adjust to the change in size, you’ll probably get stretch marks. So, if you’re exercising and concentrating a whole lot on your forearms, try not to overdo it if you do not want to accommodate any stretch marks. A slow and steady rate is what you should be aiming for if you want to lose weight without the battle scars. 

It’s recommended not to drop more than a percentage of your body weight every week. Any other amount may not only lead to stretch marks but could also cause a range of health issues. 

5. Genetics

So, this may sound terribly unfair, because you practically have no say in the matter. Nevertheless, the reason you have those stretch marks on your forearm may be completely genetic. Through careful analysis, some researchers were able to link the occurrence of stretch marks to 4 genetic regions. So, it’s very possible that these discolored streaks may appear one day regardless of whether you add or lose weight. 

6. Puberty 

Once puberty hits, a lot of tweens and teens end up going through a growth spurt. Of course, in this case, not only the forearms will be affected, but they’ll definitely be in the mix. This is basically another situation where the body grows a bit faster than the skin can account for. It happens in all ramifications, so it’s not just height that increases, but girth. That can greatly contribute to any stretch marks occurring on the forearm. 

You see, on a normal day, the skin adjusts based on how we grow. But growth spurts are a bit too abrupt and out of the blue for that. So, the skin has no time to prepare for all the growth, and that results in stretch marks. 

7. Increase in Muscle Mass

stretch marks on forearms 1

Image credit; Scott Webb

Bodybuilders and gym buffs will tell you more about this. The fact that they are constantly lifting and targeting areas such as the triceps, and doing other bodyweight leg exercises, is a clear recipe for stretch marks. As the muscle mass increases in that area, the skin can’t totally accommodate the growth. In turn, stretch marks will appear on that site. 

Taking it up a notch, stretch marks also appear when there’s a rapid build-up of muscle that leads to tears in a layer of the skin. In this case, once again, the stretch marks can be regarded as scars. If you’re one of the lucky ones, these scars will disappear over time. But for the most part, they happen to be permanent tenants. 

8. Health Conditions

As mentioned before, stretch marks are not actually a serious health condition. Nevertheless, they can be caused by certain health conditions. There’s a range of adrenal gland disorders that can actually increase the chances of getting stretch marks just about anywhere, including your forearms. For the most part, people with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome and Cushing’s Syndrome, among others, are actually more prone to having stretch marks. 

Why? Well, these disorders have one major casual factor in common. They all go a long way to up the amount of cortisone in the body. If you remember correctly, this weakens the structure of the skin making it unable to accommodate even the littlest of stretches. 

In Conclusion 

If one thing should be evident at the end of this all, it’s the fact that a lot of things can cause stretch marks on the forearm. They are basically a result of damage or tears in a layer of skin. There are so many routes that can lead to this type of damage, including the ones listed above. 

For the most part, there is no way to completely get rid of them, unless they are quite new. But they can fade away over time in some cases. Preventing them is the best route to take. To do this, simply lose or gain weight at a steady place and equally rein it down with meds or cosmetics that contain cortisone. At the end of the day, it’s important to note that stretch marks are not a death sentence on your skin. They aren’t taboo and there’s no need to overreact if you’ve got them. 

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The articles on this site are not medical or certified advice, all content that has been created is simply our opinions,experiences and independent research. We strongly advise seeking professional,qualified expert advice from either your GP or a certified medical practitioner before making any changes to do with your health,diet, exercise or habits.