Adolescent Teens and Stretch Marks

Upper arm with stretch marks
Q: I am a 20 yrs old boy and have a lot of stretch marks/lines on my shoulders, back etc. They appeared all of a sudden when I was 19 within a month or two. Is there any cure for them except plastic surgery? If yes, then kindly tell me as soon as possible.
A: Stretch marks are common in adolescent teens, and usually come as a result of the body experiencing growth spurts. Girls will sometimes find them developing on their chests as their breasts begin to rapidly grow, or on their hips and thighs as these areas develop as well. Boys can develop them on their backs and shoulders as these areas broaden during the body’s development.
Stretch marks can also occur anytime there is rapid growth in the body. Rapid weight gain, pregnancy, body-building, etc. can all cause the formation of stretch marks. The stretch marks are actually scars of a sort caused by the separation of the lower dermal tissues below the skin’s surface due to the expansion of tissues beneath the skin.
New stretch marks generally appear pinkish or reddish in color and can fade into a silvery tone over time. They may also appear a shade or two lighter than the normal skin tone. Since they are a common problem, there have been a number of purported “cures” for stretch marks (creams, lotions, vitamin therapies, etc.) marketed to consumers.
Lotions, gels and creams containing vitamin-E, cocoa butter and other moisturizers and emollients may leave the skin feeling soft and supple, but they won’t do anything to affect the appearance or actual texture of stretch marks. Stretch marks are caused when the skin is over-stressed by rapid growth of sub-dermal tissues, such as during growth spurts in puberty, or pregnancy. The stressing of the skin causes breakage of the skin’s connective tissue and results in the stretch marks.
There are prescription creams containing tretinoin (also known as Retinol-A) that may help reduce the appearance of stretch marks, but only when used before they fade from the pinkish or reddish color. You may also wish to speak with your doctor about such treatments as laser therapy and micro-dermabrasion which can help to reduce the appearance and severity of stretch marks, but particularly with laser treatments, the results are mixed.
Regardless of the treatment methods you are interested in, for any real results you will need to consult a physician.
Photo: Denis Val/Shutterstock
See also:
I have stretch marks on my thighs. How do I get rid of them?
Will getting a tan using a tanning lotion hide little flaws & stretch marks?