Although we tend to view stretch marks (also known as striae ditensae) as something that affects more women than men, it is not the truth. Men do get stretch marks and for many of the same reasons as women.
The skin is extremely flexible but it eventually reaches a point where it cannot stretch or stretch fast enough to cause the scarring and tears we know as stretch marks.
Signs of stretch marks in men
When the underlying tissues expand faster than the skin’s ability to stretch, stretch marks can occur. The dermis is the middle layer of the skin responsible for maintaining the skin’s shape.
Rapid stretching tears the dermis and visible thins it. This is what causes linear stretch marks (stretch marks), on the epidermis (upper layer).
A tear can also cause tiny blood vessels to burst, giving rise to the characteristic pinkish or purplish color of the stretch mark.
Stretch marks can cause burning sensations or itching when they are first developed. The normal pigmentation of your skin can return over time, but the tissues may seem slightly shiny.
Although stretch marks aren’t dangerous, they can cause emotional distress and discomfort.
Tanning tends to increase rather than decrease the appearance stretch marks.
Causes of stretch marks in men
Although the causes of stretch marks in men can be similar to those in women, they are primarily related to three physiological conditions.
- Rapid puberty growth leaves behind horizontal stretch marks in the upper arms, legs, buttocks and back.
- Rapid weight gain and obesity caused by the accumulation of subcutaneous body fat, which causes vertical stretch marks around the abdomen
- Bodybuilding is a sport in which rapid muscle growth triggers stretch marks along the perimeter (such as the outer edge or shoulder muscles)
Some bodybuilders may also use anabolic steroids to aid in SD.
Treatment of male stretch marks
A person’s self-confidence can be affected by stretch marks, especially if they are severe or extensive.
Many people use products to get rid of them. These claims have not been supported by clinical evidence.
However, there are natural and over-the-counter treatments that work better than any treatment.
Topical Tretinoin Cream
Retinoin cream is the most well-known brand name for Tretinoin cream. You can also buy it as Avita or Renova.
In 2014, a small randomized study found that 0.05% of tretinoin cream could reduce the appearance and lengthening of stretch marks.
This is a common treatment for acne.
Centella Asiatica, also known as Gotu Kola is a perennial herb used topically to prevent SD.
Older studies indicated that it was more effective than placebo (56% versus 34%). These studies were poorly designed and did not explore any other explanations.
Microdermabrasion, Laser Treatments
If your stretch marks are severe, microdermabrasion or laser treatments can help SD improve the appearance of the skin.
In 2016, a small study found that these methods were more effective than topical tretinoin lotions.
Losing weight may help prevent stretch marks from spreading further. You can also reduce their appearance by using sunscreen outside and avoiding tanning and tanning beds.
Conclusion: What causes Stretch Marks?
Contrary to what you may be told, there is no diet that can reduce stretch marks. There are no techniques such as massage or heating pads that can treat or prevent SD. Collagen supplements seem to have very little impact, if any.
Talk to your doctor if you are concerned about your stretch marks.