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I am a Biology Major and have a Chemistry Minor so if you want to speak somewhat medical terminology feel free to and I can look up / figure out what you mean to save you some time. In other wards you don't have to dumb it down too much if you don't want, what is easiest for you I will be MORE than grateful! This is really stumping me!

Here's background

28 yr old Male
6'0" Muscular Frame
245 lbs
1/4 czechoslovakian, some german, & a bit of irish
always had lightly oily skin
skin is natural light tan in winter and while I never get really pale I never look like I have indian or any darker skin color in the winter

somewhat healthy considering the some minor abuse "cigarettes and such"
took acutane at 20 for 3 months for acne on back, never had it on face bad, and it totally cleared me up.

ok I am an x-bodybuilder who has not been lifting hard and has been in the gym at most for 2 months a year for the last 4 years. I have been smoking on average 10 months / year around a pack of cigarettes a day for the last 3 years, quitting for a month a two to only start again from the females I date and the unnoticing effects on my body. I say this because after the first 2 years of smoking I went swimming and held my breath for over 2 minutes and 45 seconds. I used to be able to hold my breath for close to 3:30, back when I was in SEAL training. I never really quit because I never noticed that they effected me too much. I am generally never sick, took antibiotics 1 x in the last 5 years, and feel healthy most of the time. I am currently not taking any medications and if it matters I donate plasma frequently for extra cash as I have full custody of my son and trying to start a business every dollar I can get helps out.

I have 2 problems.

1. I tan WAY WAY WAY too easy! People comment that I am lucky, no...if I drive for more than 30 min in my car I have to wear spf 50 sunscreen or my left arm will be A LOT darker than my right. Also if I go outside to work i have to take off my shirt or an almost permanent tan line will be there and will last for at least 2-3 wks. My skin has always tanned relatively easy, but NEVER like this. It has been getting easier and easier the last 2 years and this year it is becoming a problem already. I am tanner than most people that have been to the lake every weekend for the last month and I have worked outside for a 2 days! I work inside and am outside rarely. What is going on? Am I curse to wear suntan lotion if I ever want to go outside? Being tan and dark is fine, but I am a Caucasian and people are already starting to mention that I am start to look Hispanic, which I don't mind, but I am Caucasian not Hispanic! even worse the summer has just begun.

2. Stretch marks - over the previous years of lifting my arms used to be around 19 1/2" to 20" and I never had a problem with stretch marks, now they are 18 - 18 1/2 and I am trying to stop smoking and get back into the gym, but I am afraid to! I lifted one time and I swear I see new stretch marks on the inside of my bicep! not to mention my chest is getting them bad from lifting a few times and I am pretty lean..as in you can see my abs and veins in my arms, shoulders, chest. Everytime I go to the gym I am having to butter my body in coco butter so it wont look like freddie cougar got ahold of me! This puts alot of extra work in my day and I am very busy with as it is.

Why is my skin getting stretch marks so easy? Do I have some type of skin condition? Could this be from the smoking alone?

Any help or explanation would be GREATLY APPRECIATED!!
2 Responses
363110 tn?1340920419
First off you should be using sunscreen daily anywayse when you go outside spf 30 or more and getting the sweat resistant kind helps, make sure to reapply it throughout the day every few hours. it could just be that something about the chemistry of your skin has changed. Go get checked out by your dermatologist and bring this up with him or her.

Stretchmarks: Stretchmarks occur anytime someone gains and loses weight. when you lift your muscles are growing which is stretching your skin. stretchmarks are scars where the skin overstretchs. Your doing what you can right now with using coco butter. it's impossible to completely prevent stretchmarks, because if it were possible those of us women who've had babies would've figured out how
363110 tn?1340920419
Make sure your getting plenty of fluids so that your skin is as moisturized as possible, and maybe slow down on the smoking as it can cause your skin to dry out easier.
The stretchmarks your seeing are likely already existing and they're just getting more prominent when you lift. the GOOD thing about stretchmarks is they fade after a time and will change from red to white.

Your skin could be getting stretch marks more easily for a number of reasons, age, the fact you smoke, not having enough fluids. it doesn't sound like you have a skin condition. but as I suggested go see your dermatologist so you can get a once over and ask all these questions to him or her.
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