Steroids & weight gain and stretch marks anyone???

When i was 15 and very unwell they gave me 60mg of steroids , I went from a size 6 to a size 12 in 3 short months :,( my body was ruined from horrible stretch marks all over my legs and hips, I even stopped taking them as i preffered to look better than ugly ( I was so childish and naive at that age but no o e explained the conseque ces of stopping them by myself ...unfortunately I've learned the bad and hard way :(

I never had NO stretch mark with my two pregnancies but azathioprine doesnt seem to be working and im considering going back on steroids , I am so scared that its gonna ruin my skin even more, not o ly would I have the great lupus rash but i will also have stretch mark? Anyone experiencing this ? I don't want to sound shallow but im only 25 and im a beauty therapist and will go back to my profession at some point but if the rash and stretch marks get worst I will have to kiss goodbye to my dream job :(

11 Replies

I gained 8 stone due to heavy amounts of steroids. I have lost a stone and battling to lose more. I asked my Rhume if I could decrease the steroids so I could lose weight. He said "Do you wish to reduce your steroids and become ill or do you want to stay well?.

Not much of a choice really. If I could exercise more, then I am sure that I could lose more weight.

Whatever, I think that health is the most important thing that we have, so any decision should not be taken lightly.

I hope all goes well fro you.


As with most Lupus treatments, there always seems to be a double edged sword to deal with doesn't there? It would be a shame for it get the way of your aspirations though. It seems to me we need someone like to you, a trained beautician, who can advise on the best products or treatments that might help desguise our rashes and stretch marks. It's not so much about vanity, it's more about feeling good about ourselves and that's not always easy with Lupus. Be kind yourself.



I've been on steroids since beginning of September. Started at 60mg and now down to 15mg and being reduced every three weeks. I've got the moon face and my top half has bulked up plus facial hair increased and voice has changed but it's been worth it as it looks like they are working (although I am on other meds as well). My confidence has taken a knock but I don't have a rash and everyone says how well I look as I don't have any lines on my face!

You are not shallow at all as no one wants to look different but it might be worth giving them a try again as you might not have same reaction as before.

Take care

Sharon x


I have been on steroids for years - down to 5mg for the last 8months, and am now, officially, a fat lass! However, I would be really ill and unable to do lots of the things that I do if I did not take them. I am honestly happier now than I have ever been!

My advice to you is to try them and see. You may need to change the way you look at your career but, thinking outside of the box is not a bad thing sometimes. I am a teacher and can no longer work full time in a primary school so I am doing bits of supply and home tutoring instead - suits my health but is not something I would ever have thought of if I had not been 'pushed'. It might seem like it is the end of the road for you if you decide that you can't do what you thought you might be doing but, it might just be a fork in the road and taking a different route could possible be the making of you!! I just buy really trendy 'big' clothes, have my nails done regularly, always wear my make-up if i am out and smile!!!

Chin up, let me know what you decide and good luck, Helen xx


Thank you everyone for your kind comments, I will discuss with my consultant on the 19th but i think I will go back on them as I am desperate to feel better at the moment .

My husband has been supportive on the subject and said "you are not single and looking for love, you are married with two kids and I don't care about a few stretchmarks and a bit of weight gain as long as you are around to be with us , its all that matters " I got emotional as he is not normally that supportive . The comments on my post also helped so thank you again :-) apparently eating salty food and taking steroids is the cause for making you put on weight so i will definately try and be carecul with my sodium intake ....


Hi I agree with all the comments above and i ty and have a load of healthy snacks for when i get steroid munchies such as carrots already pealed. also i have found bio oil has help my stretch marks, or maybe you could speak to the red cross the teach people to do camofarge make up for burns, other skin conditions and the are absoultly fab, they have taught me to conver my rash so you would barely know it is there. they really help with your confidence give them a try! best wishes.


Hi. I agree with all the above comments too, you have to feel better to look after yourself and your children. It would be great to have to have someone like you as flutterby1 mentioned, a trained beautician, on our side to advise on products to use...maybe thats a new angle you could look at with your career! I think i must be an anomalie in the the steroid department. I too was put on a high dose at 16 and was petrified of weight gain and moon face, however having been on them constantly now for 17 years i dont have the moon face and havent put any weight on. I know i am very lucky and the drs cant understand it, but at the end of the day, weight gain or not, the meds have enabled me to live a fairly normal life, i get the rash on my face which i hate, but i dont like to wear cover up and have never worn much makeup. I hope you make the right choice for you, you should ask to see the dietician if you do decide to go back on them. take care of yourself x


Hi to you all - steroids and weight gain is such a huge subject and I find there is never enough support and information given on the subject.

I agree that we must all be healthy and be happy and thankful that we are surviving this awful delibitating disease - but it also does help to feel good about oneself.

I too went from a size 6 to a size 18 in three short months - also from being left on 60 mg of steroids for too long a period and yes it saved my life - as I was very very ill at that stage and totally bedridden, now three years later I am still battling to lose the weight and get back to a reasonable size - and healthy weight.

As I used to be a Personal/Trainer/Health and Fitness instructor I know exactly how you feel when it affects ones career - my whole life has had to change and all the active physical things I always did I can no longer. I try as much as I can to be as active as possible but like most people suffering from the disease I have to pace and choose what I do to get through the day. Its all very well being told to exercise but most of the time I only have the strength and energy to choose to do one thing and that is normally work - but I do try and do a yoga class where I can as often as I can.

For six months now I have been on such a strict diet - and not much change to the weight problems (although I must say I have managed to get back to between a 12-14 but still lots swollen parts and bumps which I know are still from the effects of the steroids). I have asked my consultant whether there is anything that can be done about this and they just keep telling me to be first I was told it would take maybe a year or two to go (I had chronic cushing) they are telling me that steroids can stay in your system for up to 10 years?? I am not sure about this and would like someone to verify or give more info on this subject.

My diet now consists of the following :

No dairy, wheat or gluten, red meat, sugar or caffeine

Drinks - loads of water!!!!! Green tea, acai berry and raw juices e.g. carrot and apple juices ONLY

Protein - salmon, sardines, tuna, turkey and chicken

loads of fresh fruit and veg

I make alot of homemade soups with lentils and kale, ect...

Oats with rice milk for breakfast (with added seeds, supplements,ect)

Rice cakes with avo, salmon or peanut butter if I need a snack and really hungry - other snacks - nuts and liquorice sticks

I find it so frustrating that I stick to a healthy low fat diet but look the way I do.....

I have lumps (which I have been told are fluid sacs from the steroids over my back, stomach, legs, especially around the knees/calves) - anyone else have this too??

Good luck to all you lupies that care about the way you look and wanting to stay healthy!!


I found Sudocrem faded them a little, but hyrdocortisone cream worked best for a quick result, not that I should've probably been using it like that - whoops :) I had some that it got rid of the lines completely. Mine have come up in my bikini line and on the left crease in my leg so as soon as I'm in my underwear they're visable and I hate them. I have some stretch marks that I faded with some cream from Lush cosmetics and one of their top brass told me it was the lavendar oil that's in it.

I've got rid of a lot of the weight by literally being really strict with what I eat. I eat fruit for lunch and if I need a snack, some cereal for breakfast and then have low fat evening meal. I don't have biscuits or crisps or choc because your ody will hold it all. I found that once I could get my head round the fact that I wasn't really hungry (30 mins after I'd finished my tea) that it was my body playing tricks it was easier. I must've been a nightmare to live with, I think my anger came from the hunger and then the weight cuz I was unhappy. There's some brilliant advise on the livestrong website about losing weight on steroids.

The best thing I learned this year was that men don't care about the marks on your body and if you put some weight on, if they're worth your trouble they love you anyway. My man and I seperated in the spring, he was a as sick as me and we agreed to get better for each other and start again which I'm very happy to say is exactly what we're doing. I got my stretch marks whilst we were apart but am not sure he's even noticed them! He's just happy that I'm getting better and my drugs work and we're starting again.

Good luck and take care



Hi everyone,

I am new to this site, but felt I needed to comment on this subject as I can totally understand where everyone is coming from regarding steroids. I too, went from a size 8 to a 16 within a few months after high steroid doses, with the trademark moon face, and the Cushings symptoms.

Over a year later and I am still on them, although at a lower dose, as my body now goes into shock every time we try to stop them. I have lost some weight since reducing the dose, but am still overweight, with the skinny legs but totally rounded face and middle. I have the stretchmarks too, all down my legs and tummy etc, and although I know the steroids saved my life, I still find it hard to accept the changes it has made to my body.

I think the problem with steroids is that they are such a powerful drug which affects so many systems in the body, but is not always fully explained when starting treatment. I had some idea about the weight gain, but not the stretch marks, racing heart, sleeplessness, sweating etc it can also cause. I now also have benign intercranial hypertension which I am sure is caused by putting on so much weight after always being so slender and tiny. Also, I was unaware that sometimes the body's own steroid doesnt kick in when reducing the meds, so you can be left on steroids for life, like I am now.

Being a single woman of 34, who would still love to meet someone and get married, I feel so unattractive now and embarrassed to be seen, that it has had a huge social impact. Yes I know it helps my body in some way, but it would be nice to look more like my old self again.

Anyway, I just wanted to say how helpful it is to know I am not alone in feeling like this, and I wish you all much better health for 2012.



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