While stretch marks are more common for women, approximately 25% of men will get stretch marks at some point in their life. For men, this can be even more emotionally distressing because they feel that this is a “women’s problem” associated with pregnancy. However, stretch marks can appear on men for a variety of reasons: weight gain, weight loss, or bodybuilding.
It is important to first understand what causes stretch marks. When your body shape changes rapidly, whether due to weight fluctuation or spending time in the gym, this places strain on your skin. When skin is pulled, the middle layers — known as the dermis — can tear. These tiny tears show up on the skin as red or purple stretch marks. Over time, these marks can scar and appear silvery or white. While they cause no medical problems, they can be embarrassing to some people.
There are a few options for reducing the appearance of stretch marks for men. The first option is by preventing it! For weightlifters and bodybuilders that know their body will be changing rapidly, keeping the skin moisturized is the easiest way to prevent stretch marks to begin with. Don’t be scared off by maternity creams – these were designed to keep the skin resilient during bodily changes. Keeping the skin moisturized will aid your skin’s elasticity, which means less tears and stretch marks.
If you already have stretch marks, there are several choices for how to remove them. Stretch mark creams are a relatively inexpensive treatment option to fade unwanted marks. With results in about a month, they are not an immediate fix but can provide you with results rather quickly. Another option is laser treatment. Laser treatments will lessen the appearance of stretch marks by targeting the sub-layers of skin with a laser. This triggers the body to rebuild new layers of skin with fresh collagen, leaving you with smoother skin. Over several sessions, you can see a reduction of discoloration.