If you’re wondering how to get rid of stretch marks for men, first understand that male stretch marks are normal. So if you’re here because you’re feeling self-conscious or down in the dumps over your stretch marks, chin up! Almost everyone has stretch marks. They come and go and fade with age.
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What Are Male Stretch Marks?
Male stretch marks are those purple- or white-looking scars across your skin. If they’re fresh, they probably have the same color as a bruise, and the skin around your stretch mark will be raised. White stretch marks are older. They’re the remnants of those once-purple marks, and they sink into the skin, causing craters and divots.
You’re more likely to have stretch marks in places where your skin has been (you guessed it) stretched somehow. Guys who have stretch marks tend to find them across their legs, abdomen, and back, especially if those marks formed during teenage years. Women tend to have more stretch marks along their hips and breasts – and stomach, if they’ve been pregnant.
Stretch marks are a natural part of life and growth. They’re not painful or harmful, but fresh marks might feel a little bit itchy. Try not to scratch them. Itchiness is a sign that your skin is healing itself.
What Causes Male Stretch Marks?
For most guys, your male stretch marks probably started to form around puberty. Your body grew too quickly for your skin to keep up perfectly, so it stretched itself.
Some other common stretch mark causes:
• Rapid weight-gain or weight-loss
• Steroid use (Not only will the new bulk cause stretch marks, but the components in certain steroids like corticosteroids can lower your collagen levels. Collagen protects your skin from things like stretch marks.)
• Exercise that causes rapid muscle growth, stretching the skin
• Diseases, such as Cushing syndrome or Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. If your stretch marks are abnormally bad, see a doctor.
• Aging – some stretch marks are simply one of many symptoms of growing older.
Do Stretch Marks Go Away For Guys?
Male stretch marks don’t go away on their own. Over time, they’ll fade to that white or translucent color and leave a little divot in your skin.
You can help with that natural process by cleansing, exfoliating, and moisturizing your skin regularly. Using a soap or cleanser will wash away bacteria that might cause infection. An exfoliant will scrub away dead skin, encouraging new skin growth, and even spurring your collagen production. Moisturizers like lotions and oils keep your skin soft and hydrated.
Over the counter skin care products won’t completely cure the scarrage that male stretch marks leave, but they can help fade the scars nicely, assuming you allow for your skincare products to absorb properly.
How To Get Rid Of Stretch Marks For Men
To date, there are no proven methods that actually get rid of stretch marks. So if you’re wondering how to get rid of stretch marks for men, you’re better off sticking to preventative and fading methods. But if you do see a doctor or dermatologist, they might prescribe something to at least speed up the fading process.
Ways To Prevent Male Stretch Marks
It’s significantly easier to prevent stretch marks than it is to treat them. So if you’d like to stop scarrage ahead of time:
Avoid rapid weight gain or loss
Most stretch marks are caused by drastic changes in your body weight, so try to keep your scale reading consistent. This is not a method that I would recommend to everyone. If losing or gaining weight is the healthy choice for you, then forget the stretch marks and prioritize your health.
Use A Skin-Friendly Moisturizer
Butters, oils, and lotions can help make your skin more supple, which theoretically prevents stretch marks in return. This is not a proven method to prevent stretch marks, but at a bare minimum, moisturizers do reduce the itchiness of fresh stretch marks (we recommend these moisturizers if you have black skin). Pair that with a cleanser and exfoliant, and your skin will be in good hands.
Protect Your Skin From Other Forms Of Damage
Too much sun exposure, hot showers, dehydration, over exfoliation – anything that might cause more damage to your skin will stand in the way of your stretch marks healing nicely. Be nice to your skin!
Some stretch mark treatments your doctor or dermatologist might prescribe:
Tretinoin is a topical cream often prescribed for acne. It doesn’t get rid of stretch marks entirely, but it can lessen the appearance of new stretch marks, according to a study in 2014.
Microdermabrasion is a special kind of exfoliation. In most cases, your skin care professional will probably use an instrument to spray tiny particles onto your face. It’s often compared to “sanding” your skin. The treatment is known to help with wrinkles, scars, and blemishes.
Some exfoliants that you buy online will claim to use microdermabrasion on your skin, but really you need to go to a skin care provider to get the real deal.
Dermatologists often prescribe laser treatments to reduce a wide variety of scarrage, including stretch mark scars. Your doctor will let you know what to expect before, during and after the procedure. Expectations will vary depending on how severe your stretch marks are.
Chemical peels will exfoliate your skin like no other product. Your dermatologist will apply a chemical layer to your skin, causing it to peel off over time (some people compare the process to “blistering.”) The skin underneath will be more sensitive, but it will also have a smoother appearance.
Are Male Stretch Marks Bad?
Almost every guy has stretch marks somewhere, so if you’re self-conscious, don’t be. Male stretch marks are perfectly natural.
Think of them like any other scar on your body. The scar itself isn’t painful or harmful – it’s just the leftovers from some skin damage in the past. It makes your skin unique and maybe even gives you a story to tell.
The only time you should be concerned about stretch marks is if they’re very prominent, covering large areas of your body, or painful. You might be suffering from an underlying health issue, with the stretch marks being a symptom of the problem. Talk to a doctor.
Will Stretch Marks Go Away If You Lose Weight?
Stretch marks will not go away if you lose weight. But if you lose enough weight to where your skin is hanging off your body, you can see a doctor about a panniculectomy (skin removal surgery).
Remember, male stretch marks will fade over time. Many are unnoticeable after a few years. If you don’t have the time or resources for an expensive fading treatment, exercise a little patience and let your body do the work for you.