Stretch marks or striae distansae, are wire-like looking marks that can occur anywhere on the skin. They can occur in both women as well as in men and are not necessarily due to the body’s fat content. Though in the case of women, they go through certain stages, such as pregnancy, which gives them stretch marks but men too can get stretched due to various reasons.
Why do stretch marks occur in men?
Stretch marks develop when the tissues under the skin grow faster than the skin cells themselves, which takes place in the middle layer of the skin called the Dermis. Let us read the various causes of these scars:
Puberty is the time when boys become sexually mature. The increase in height is accompanied by faster growth of tissues, which makes the skin stretch with no time to form new skin cells. This gives rise to stretch marks and can appear anywhere on the skin.
- Increasing weight:
If a man is suffering from obesity, he is likely to get stretch marks. These mainly appear on the waist, back knee, and lower back. This happens due to the accumulation of fat cells.
- Muscle building:
Lifting weights or weight training tears the muscles of the body. While repairing the process, new muscles are formed which give rise to stretch marks.
Steps to get rid of stretch marks
Removal of stretch marks could be a long process but it is worth giving a shot. Let’s read how it could be done:
Topical creams such as Avita and Renova, which are made up of tretinoin or retinoic acid, are extremely helpful in lowering the visibility of stretch marks. This acid is derived from Vitamin A (retinol) which is vastly used to treat acne as well as stretch scars. Apply a layer of this cream before bed and expect clear results in a week. The only con is that it does not work well on dark stretch marks.
Indian pennywort or Asiatic pennywort is herbaceous which can be used to get rid of stretch marks. It does a fantastic job as a moisturizer as it is rich in essential nutrients such as amino acids and fatty acids. It helps in the removal of stretch marks by boosting the areas to grow new skin layers, hence, lightening the marks
This involves removing the marks by laser resurfacing. The process involves 2 types of lasers: ablative and non-ablative. A beam of light is thrown in considerable amounts on the targeted skin areas. Though this cannot entirely remove the scars but surely make them visibly lighter and smoother. The ablative beam destroys the upper layer of the skin, giving rise to new skin which will be smoother and stretches marks free. Whereas a non-ablative beam targets the underlying layer of the skin which will then promote the growth of new cells from inside. Both the ways are equally effective and rejuvenate the skin.
It uses a mildly abrasive tool, which is called the microdermabrasion machine, which smoothes out the skin. Its beam helps to improve the appearance of the scar by exfoliating the targeted areas. This machine works by spraying crystals over the skin, the rough edges of the crystals rub against the skin and removes the top layer.
After the removal process, it vacuums the crystals and the dead skin away. This treatment is not completed in one go rather it takes a series of appointments. Though it takes longer, It makes the skin look younger and healthier in the first treatment itself.
Injecting platelet-rich plasma is a way to treat the stretch marks in men. Under this process, the patient is the platelet donor himself. The injected platelets help the scars to heal from within. This treatment is mostly used to treat weight lifting gymnasts. This is said to be more effective than topical medications as it gives better scar disappearing results.
This treatment is known as cosmetic surgery and this may or may not remove the scarred skin. This is a costly treatment. Chemical peelis, an acidic solution is applied which burns the top layers of the skin which removes the dead skin. Afterwards, it encourages skin cells which gives rise to new skin layers. The disadvantage of this treatment is that the operation might leave some scars.
Though this treatment has not been researched more often, it is still considered to be safe and useful. Here, radio-waves are used to create heat and boost collagen for the formation of new skin cells.
It undergoes an almost similar process as the previous one. Instead of radio-waves, soundwaves are sent deep into the skin to create heat and trigger the body to produce collagen.
- Avoid rapid changes
When your body is habituated to some activity, it feels comfortable doing those activities. Sudden changes, such as fluctuating weights while lifting, may cause discomfort to the body giving rise to certain problems i.e Stretch marks.
- Keep yourself hydrated
Skin loses its moisture if the body is dehydrated. Moisture-less skin cannot contribute to the healthy growth of skin cells, thus, not encouraging skin growth. This proves to be a disadvantage to a growing body.
- Avoid hot water baths
There are times when you feel good but your inner organs don’t. Hot water showers may feel good but they flush the collagens from the epidermis, thus discouraging the growth of new skin cells.
- Apply moisturizer
Applying a moisturizer not only makes your skin look healthy but also hydrate your skin. This prevents the skin from getting dehydrated hence, protecting from getting any stretch marks.
- Collagen filler
Collagen filler is liquid which when applied lightens the visible stretch marks temporarily. Apply a pea size on the affected areas and rub until the skin absorbs it.
- Body scrub
Rubbing the body with a scrub can remove the dead skin cells from the top layer of the skin, discouraging the spread of stretch marks.
No matter what treatment you choose for yourself, it will only show results when you act effectively on it. Giving the proper treatment and a good period of time to heal, is the solution to avoid such problems.