Stretch Marks on Legs (Knees, Thighs, Calves): Causes & Treatments

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Stretch marks are never fun, but when they’re on an area of the body such as your legs, they can be embarrassing and even disturbing.
For the most part, stretch marks on your legs pose no health threat, so there is no need to worry about that. But they can be difficult to deal with nonetheless, and if you want to get rid of your stretch marks, the first thing you need to do is determine how they got there in the first place. This is the best way to take the next step, which is what to do to minimize their appearance.
In this article, we will discuss the potential causes of stretch marks on legs– Knees, calves, and thighs, the possible treatments, and what we can do to prevent them from developing in the future.
Stretch marks on the legs and other areas of the body occur when collagen and elastin fibers under the skin break down. This often happens after an intense and rapid stretching of the skin beyond its elasticity limits.
The skin on the legs, especially on the knees and inner thighs, is very thin, which explains why stretch marks tend to develop in these areas.
Stretch marks can be white, pink, brown, red, or purple colored. They are usually red when they are new, and turn white when they mature.

What Causes Stretch Marks on the Legs?

Any type of rapid stretching of the skin can cause stretch marks anywhere on your body, including your stomach, arms, and legs.
Stretch marks on the legs are usually a result of one or more of the following:
  • Rapid weight gain. People who gain a lot of weight quickly can have stretch marks on their legs.
  • Rapid growth spurts; for instance, teenagers.
  • In pregnant women, stretch marks tend to appear mainly on the belly and breasts, but they can also appear on the legs.
  • Muscle Building; in this case, stretch marks are due to the skin stretching from rapid muscle growth.
  • Certain lotions and creams that contain corticosteroids can also decrease the skin’s ability to stretch, and the result is often stretch marks.
  • Certain medical conditions. These include Marfan syndrome, Cushing’s syndrome, and Danlos syndrome, to name a few.
In addition, you are much more likely to develop stretch marks if you have a family history of doing the same. Stretch marks on legs may also be worsened by poor blood circulation or by a lack of skin elasticity.

How to Get Rid of Stretch Marks on the Legs

Stretch Marks on Legs (Knees, Thighs, Calves): Causes & Treatments
The first thing to remember is that no treatment is going to eliminate 100% of your stretch marks. The most you can hope for is to find something that eliminates most of them, and this is a lot easier than you might think.

Below are some of the most effective ways to get rid of stretch marks on your legs:

  • Microdermabrasion
  • Chemical peels
  • Microneedling using a dermapen or a dermaroller
  • Stretch mark removal creams
  • Retinoid creams
  • Home remedies, such as argan oil, coconut oil, and aloe vera
  • Laser therapy
  • Dermatological or even surgical treatments
Taking vitamins A, C, and E, along with a supplement that contains zinc, can also help because these nutrients increase collagen production and help repair skin cells and rejuvenate the skin. To get these nutrients, try eating foods such as broccoli, berries, spinach, kiwi, peanuts, and oranges.

How to Prevent Stretch Marks on the Legs

All of the tips mentioned above for getting rid of stretch marks will also help prevent future stretch marks from occurring, but there are other suggestions as well. These include:
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Eat a healthy diet of foods that have a lot of vitamins, zinc, and other healthy nutrients in them.
  • Always use a body lotion with SPF, especially if your skin is exposed to sunlight. This will protect your skin from the sun’s rays, which can damage your skin’s collagen.
  • Avoid fatty foods. Simply put, they can make you gain weight and increase the odds that you’ll get stretch marks.
  • Avoid products that can dehydrate the skin and therefore make it more prone to stretch marks. These include coffee, soda, and tea.
  • Do not smoke. Cigarettes can actually reduce the skin’s ability to avoid stretch marks.
  • Practice dry-brushing your legs. This procedure stimulates blood circulation, exfoliates the skin, and makes it easier for creams and lotions to hydrate the skin.
  • Get regular exercise.
  • Get regular massages.
  • Keep your legs as hydrated as possible with creams or lotions.
  • Limit your use of corticosteroids.
  • Control your weight.
  • Exfoliate regularly with a caffeine scrub.

A natural-bristle brush that is soft is the most effective at dry-brushing the skin on your legs, start at the bottom of your feet, and work in an upward direction. Try to do this for 5 to 10 minutes per day. You can use the brush for other parts of your body as well, although you should only dry-brush those areas every other day.

When to See a Doctor

If you are a teenager or you’re pregnant, there is no need to see a doctor for your stretch marks. In these instances, stretch marks are perfectly normal due to changes that are going on in your body.

That being said, if you experience stretch marks on your legs that happen suddenly, or if you get them and you can’t figure out why, you might want to schedule an appointment with your doctor. A doctor can determine exactly what is causing the stretch marks and what you can do about them.

This is not a reason to panic, however. Remember, stretch marks are not bad for your health, they are just a nuisance and an inconvenience. Nevertheless, a doctor will be able to rule out anything serious that may be going on, and it’ll be good to know firsthand what the problem is and what to do from there.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Are stretch marks on the legs normal?

A: In certain individuals, such as pregnant women and teenagers, they are quite normal. Once again, if you’re not in these two categories and you haven’t had a sudden weight gain recently, they are not normal. This is a situation where you might want to see a doctor about your stretch marks.

Q: Can stretch marks be permanent?

A: That depends on how you look at it. With the right products and treatments, most of your stretch marks will either fade or disappear completely, but that isn’t the case with all of them. Some, in fact, never go away.

Q: How much time does it take for stretch marks to fade?

A: That depends on where the stretch marks are located and how severe they are. As a general rule, stretch marks will fade in several months to a year. Very bad ones can take up to two years to fade.

Takeaway

Stretch marks on your legs- knees, thighs, or calves, are normal in most instances, there is no need to panic if you have them. There are simple things you can do to get rid of them and even prevent them from coming back in the future.

If they happen for seemingly no reason, you may want to see a doctor. Other than that, most of the things mentioned in this article should work for most people.

Judy Rose

Hi, it’s Judy!

I’m a passionate skincare specialist and writer. I have more than 7 years of experience as a beauty, fashion, and lifestyle writer and editor, and I’m extremely passionate about what I do.