With all the furore about celebrity post-baby bodies and their astonishing lack of stretch marks, you would be forgiven for thinking that they only affect pregnant women. They are not the only ones at risk of developing them, however, and men can develop them too.

The most common cause of stretch marks in men is obesity. If weight gain is rapid, the skin is put under enormous strain to keep up with the increase in body volume. If it is stretch too far, the dermal layer can rupture resulting in the deeper layers of skin becoming visible through the epidermis.

Bodybuilding can also cause stretch marks to appear, as the goal is to rapidly increase muscle mass. Bodybuilders often find that they develop stretch marks on their arms, chest and other areas that they try to bulk up too quickly for the skin to cope.

Sometimes stretch marks indicate an underlying health problem, so it is important to consult a doctor if they appear unexpectedly. For the most part, though, they are harmless even if they can be unsightly. Stretch mark removal can help to reduce their appearance if they are causing problems of a cosmetic nature.