The origin of stretch marks in men is similar to that of these marks in women. For some, these marks are no more than an aesthetic issue that they do not pay much attention to. However, even though they aren’t harmful, the reddish or white grooves on the skin often give those who have them a complex.
There are multiple causes of the condition and also ways to reduce it. Before knowing how to deal with them, get to know why they arise.
What are stretch marks?
The American Academy of Dermatology defines stretch marks as a distension of the skin that breaks the elastic fibers. They’re linear atrophic plaques, common on the abdomen, breasts, thighs, and hips.
They usually arise due to continuous and progressive stretching of the dermis. They’re considered a form of scarring, a product of impaired collagen and elastin.
A publication in the Online Journal of Indian Dermatology highlights that stretch marks are benign in nature and can rarely ulcerate or rupture. The symptoms are divided into 2 phases:
- Appearance of purple or red lines: They appear right on the stretched area. At this stage, the skin itches and tends to lift.
- Whitish changes: This is the definitive appearance of stretch marks. They feel deeper than the surrounding skin.
Causes of stretch marks in men
It’s believed that hereditary factors play a role in the formation of stretch marks. There are skin types with quite elastic fibers, but others lack collagen and these changes occur more frequently. What happens is that skin flexibility reaches a point where it doesn’t give any more or doesn’t tighten as fast.
Also, there are pathologies that cause the overproduction of natural corticosteroids, substances that regulate the generation of skin cells, such as fibroblasts and keratinocytes.
Other particularities influence male stretch marks:
- Obesity or accelerated weight gain: Sudden weight gain causes subcutaneous fat to generate abdominal stretch marks.
- Poor diet: Nutrients such as vitamin C, omega 3 and 6, as well as collagen and elastin supplements promote fibers.
- Puberty: In the transition to adolescence, some young people show stretch marks on the back, upper arms, buttocks and thighs. This happens due to skin stretching at the peak of growth.
- Bodybuilding: Any intense exercise to develop muscles in an accelerated way could cause stretch marks, especially on the chest or on the outer end of the muscle worked. Also, the consumption of anabolic steroids to increase muscle mass promotes these unwanted marks.
Natural remedies to reduce stretch marks in men
If the streaks are still red, there’s an opportunity to eliminate them. On the contrary, when they become whitish or grayish, it’s more difficult to get rid of them. We should point out that treatments aren’t 100% effective in removing stretch marks. However, there are options that greatly improve their appearance.
The creams and gels that diminish stretch marks mostly have natural elements and other substances such as panthenol, silicone, lipids and soluble collagen. All components are intended to stimulate collagen and elasticity.
2. Aloe vera
Massaging the region with stretch marks is best done with aloe vera. This ingredient is a popular tissue regenerator and healer.
Take advantage of this after showering and apply a gel containing the plant. Freshly washed skin allows rapid absorption. Be patient, as the results are gradual.
Rosehip is recognized for its power to renew the skin surface, smooth the skin, and minimize imperfections such as stretch marks. The effects respond to the content of omega 3 and omega 6 essential acids, as well as vitamin A.
4. Centella asiatica
Centella Asiatica or gotu kola is recommended to treat stretch marks topically, as it’s believed to regenerate the skin. The journal Advances in Dermatology and Allergology mentions that it promotes fibroblast proliferation and enhances the synthesis of collagen and intracellular fibronectin.
5. Cocoa butter
This plant-based fat moisturizes, nourishes, and provides antioxidants. Mixing a tablespoon of cocoa butter with a tablespoon of olive oil is ideal against stretch marks. Use the mixture in the mornings and evenings.
Citric acid reduces stretch marks in men. Experts, suggest applying the juice of a freshly squeezed lemon on the affected spots, massaging, and waiting half an hour.
After 30 minutes, rinse with warm water. While performing the treatment, avoid the sun, as you may suffer from hyperpigmentation if you don’t. If you prefer, let the juice of the fruit act all night and remove it in the morning.
Lemon is rich in vitamin C, a component that can help to prevent skin aging and fade red stretch marks.
7. Coconut oil
Coconut oil provides the dermis with antioxidants, fatty acids, and vitamin E. The substance involves fixing the most damaged tissues of the epidermis which could produce stretch marks in men.
The way to apply it is by heating the oil, spreading it on the skin and massaging in circles. Spend at least 10 minutes rubbing to allow the essence to penetrate.
Exercising with weights helps tone and camouflage stretch marks a bit. The routines should be progressive and without falling into excess, as this would be counterproductive.
Is it possible to prevent stretch marks?
Stretch marks can’t always be prevented, due to genetic circumstances, both in men and women. Reducing the chances of having such marks is associated with a healthy weight, without accelerated weight gain. Losing weight quickly is also a risk factor, because the dermis faces an imbalance in the same way.
As a precaution, you’ll benefit from the following advice:
- Moisturize and nourish the skin with almond, calendula, jojoba or argan oil.
- Drink enough water to maintain skin elasticity.
- Eat fiber with fruits and vegetables, because they also provide vitamins and antioxidants.
- Lose weight gradually. Aggressive diets, apart from affecting health, cause flaccidity and a greater risk of stretch marks.
Other treatments to reduce stretch marks
Aside from natural remedies for stretch marks, certain treatment and therapies can give effective results. For example, dermabrasion, laser light therapies, and platelet-rich plasma injection.
Hyaluronic acid, chemical peels, and topical tretinoin are among the options for renewing the skin appearance. Consult a professional if you’re interested in any of these.