Think for a second… Have you ever seen a commercial or advertisement for stretch marks with a man in it?
Commonly only women appear and it is because of this that if you are a male, it looks as if you are trying to enter a world of women that you know little about. So if you decided to get rid of your stretch marks, the obvious solution would be to try whatever the women are doing… Right…?
However, there is a completely valid reason for this, as men do not experience the biggest cause of scars, which is pregnancy (apart from Arnold Schwarzenegger in Junior).
And since most women do get pregnant at least once in their lifetime and over 75% of them get it, you can see why its a woman dominated community.
For men the story is a bit different.
- If you are male, your skin is inherently different than a woman’s
- As said before, men do not get pregnant(at least for the most part)
So, what even are stretch marks?
Basically, striae is nothing else but a defense mechanism by your body so your skin does not tear itself open. Imagine an elastic band, the more you pull on it, the thinner it gets. Well that happens with your skin. It starts ripping, becoming thinner to the point of stretch marks appearing. But by itself, if your skin didn’t do this, your guts would spill out. And you wouldn’t want that now would you?
Now, when it does stretch, it happens because of either of these reasons for men:
- Puberty (When going through puberty, males experience an even higher rate of growth than women and their skin has to expand very fast. Sometimes, the skin is not strong enough to withstand the pressure of the sudden growth and has to rip to keep up. However, the scars in this time are the easiest to heal due to young age.)
- Weight Loss / Gain (Similarly, when going through a body change, such as suddenly expanding or decreasing the area under your skin, it can rip.)
- Muscle Gain (Similar to weight gain, when adding muscle mass, the skin is very likely to rip as the pressure increases, see here how it affects stretch marks)
Due to one or more of these reasons you either have or will get scars. As to the chance of getting them, it boils down to 2 factors, your current body state and your genetics.
For example, if you are exercising regularly and feeding your body enough nutrients and your parents/grandparents never really had striae, chances are that you will not as well. But don’t get too comfortable too fast though, you only need one weak skin day to get it to rip.
Preventing or Treating Men’s Stretch Marks
If you are in such a situation that you do not have any scars yet, but will either gain/lose weight or build muscle, it is recommended that you use any good prevention methods.
Think about it, would you rather have those scars while you walk around on the beach with your goal body, but full of red scars everywhere?
You can prevent this by first moisturizing your skin and then applying prevention creams to your body. This will make your skin better against pressure and less likely to rip.
On the other hand, if you already have some and want to treat them your options open up a bit. Same as before, you will again hear the word.. Creams.
When you use them, use ones made specially for removing and not those who are targeted for other problems(for example, do not use creams made for pregnancy).
You can also let it heal on its own and even then, the body will do a decent job at it, but don’t expect great results, meaning that unless you are 10 years old, a full recovery on your own(without doing anything) is more or less impossible.
One more thing..
So we don’t get lynched by those who advocate having all the options listed. Yes, there are more options for treating stretch marks, however these treatments are not recommended for men.
- Laser surgery and Skin surgery are also options for removal but unless half of your body is covered in striae, it is not recommended as stretches are not a serious medical condition and only a visual mark.
- For this reason they are not discussed here in more detail, and you can read what are the reasons here.
If the only thing that you take from this is that men who take care of their skin should become a everyday thing, then our goal has been achieved.