Stretch Marks on Arms Male
Most people call them “stretch marks,” but doctors call them “striae distensae.” These red or white marks with sharp edges can be irritating.
Stretch marks are a normal thing that a lot of people, including men, have. There are ways to treat these marks that might make them look less bad.
stretch marks in men
People often think that women are the only ones who get stretch marks. This could be because a lot of women get stretch marks during pregnancy when their skin grows quickly to make room for a baby. But men can also get stretch marks, and some things may make them more likely to do so.
Why do you get stretch marks?
Doctors haven’t found a single reason why people get stretch marks. Instead, they think that stretch marks are caused by a mix of different things that change the skin. These things are:
- When the skin is stretched
- skin cells change.
Doctors do know that certain things in life make stretch marks more likely. Some of these are growing up and getting bigger. Hormones and the stretching of the skin can both have an effect on both of these things.
Stretch marks can also be passed down through families, so if someone in your family has them, you are more likely to get them as well.
Some of the reasons why men might get stretch marks are:
- adrenal diseases like Cushing syndrome, Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, or Marfan’s syndrome, a growth spurt during puberty, rapid weight loss or gain, rapid muscle growth from weight training, and a growth spurt during puberty.
- Corticosteroid creams, like prescription-strength hydrocortisone used to treat eczema, can make stretch marks more likely if you use them for a long time.
Any place on the skin can get stretch marks. Men are more likely to get them in places where they gain weight or muscle quickly. Most of the time, this is in the buttocks, calves, back, or thighs of teenage boys. A 2014 review found that this is most often the buttocks for adult men.
How do stretch marks happen?
Stretch marks are a type of scarring that occurs when a person’s skin grows or shrinks rapidly. Collagen and elastin, which are parts of the skin, are damaged by the changes. The way the skin heals itself can cause stretch marks.
Stretch marks tend to happen in two stages. First, a person may see red or purple lines with points on areas of stretched skin. Often, the skin feels raised and itches. The marks fade to the second stage over time. Most of the time, these stretch marks are colorless and may feel lower than the skin around them.
There are many anecdotal home remedies that claim to help men and women get rid of or avoid stretch marks. Many of them are very moisturizing for the skin. Some home treatments include:
- almond oil
- cocoa butter
- olive oil
- vitamin E
Even though these may make your skin feel better, there is no proof that they prevent or lessen the look of stretch marks. A study of several randomized controlled trials on women discovered that cocoa butter, vitamin E, and olive oil did not reduce the visibility of stretch marks.
In 1996, one study found that giving pregnant women massages with vitamin E oil cut the number of stretch marks they got by a little bit. But the sample size was very small, so it’s not likely that the results can be generalized to a larger group of people.
Even though lotions and creams haven’t been scientifically proven to reduce stretch marks, you’ll still hear and read about a lot of people who swear by them. If you do try them, here are some tips from the American Academy of Dermatology on how to use them well:
- Use the product as soon as you start to see stretch marks or feel itchy. Most of the time, topical treatments don’t work well on old stretch marks.
- Rub the products into your skin. It seems that massaging the products makes them work better.
- Apply the product regularly over a period of weeks or months.
Even though lotions and creams may not be able to get rid of stretch marks, they can make them less itchy. You can also use self-tanner to hide them. Tanned skin, on the other hand, may make stretch marks look worse.
Dermatologists can also give you treatments like hyaluronic acid or vitamin A to make stretch marks less noticeable.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, two large studies found that applying hyaluronic acid to new stretch marks helped make them less visible.
The same was true for retinoid creams, which are forms of vitamin A that help skin cells turn over. But people had to use the creams often and for 24 weeks for the stretch marks to go away or become less noticeable.
These medical treatments may help get rid of stretch marks:
- Laser treatment
- chemical peel
Stretchmark treatments have not been tested in a lot of high-level, evidence-based studies, which is a shame. Most studies aren’t very big, so it’s hard to say for sure that a certain treatment will work to get rid of stretch marks.
Can stretch marks be stopped?
Since genes and hormones can cause stretch marks, it’s not always possible to stop them from happening.
You might be less likely to get stretch marks if you keep your weight steady and don’t go up or down quickly. This keeps your skin from stretching too much, which can make you more likely to get stretch marks.
If you are worried about how stretch marks look, talk to your dermatologist about possible treatments and ways to keep them from happening. They can make suggestions based on your particular health needs.
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