Many men approaching adulthood have problems with stretch marks. Unlike women who commonly develop stretch marks on the abdomen, thighs and hips in men of that age stretch marks in majority of cases form on the back. These skin changes are characteristic for normal growth process but they do not affect all men. They develop as a consequence of excessive stretching of the skin caused by rapid growth. Apart from adolescent men stretch marks on the back may also affect men of mature age. The problem is also common for body builders and weightlifters because they rapidly increase muscle mass and the skin has no time to prepare for excessive and quick stretching.
What Causes Stretch Marks on the Back?
Not all men develop stretch marks on the back. Some are more susceptible and whether these skin changes will actually develop or not depends on several factors. Stretch marks affect more men who grow and develop rapidly during puberty. The skin in such men is not elastic enough and cannot follow the rapid growth of the underlying tissues. This is the reason why the skin can easily overstretch, become thinner and eventually break. Tearing of fibers of the inner skin layer is responsible for the formation of stretch marks. Similar discrepancy between rapid muscle increase and insufficient and quick stretching of the skin is seen among body builders and weightlifters.
Apart from rapid growth and development stretch marks on the back may develop due to excess of glucocorticoids (hormones produced by the adrenal gland). The level of glucocorticoids may be increased during puberty and is also associated with obesity. Glucocorticoids interfere with production of collagen and elastic fibers. This makes the skin less elastic and stretch marks easily form.
And finally, patients suffering from Marfan syndrome are more susceptible to stretch marks on the back comparing to healthy individuals. Marfan syndrome is a genetic disorder that features with defective connective tissue.
How To Deal with Stretch Marks on the Back?
Stretch marks on the back may be very unsightly particularly if there is a lot of them or they affect large portions of the back. Once stretch marks develop they can hardly be removed completely. However, there are several treatment that may decrease their visibility and intensity.
Stretch marks on the back can be initially treated with a variety of creams and lotions. These creams may also be used in prevention of stretch marks especially if a person is prone to these skin changes. The appearance of the affected skin can be additionally improved with proper exfoliation. And in case the previously mentioned non-surgical treatments do not provide with desirable results one may opt for surgery. Laser surgery includes removal of the superficial layer of the skin. The new skin eventually covers the treated parts and improves their appearance.