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  • Writer's pictureDr Ronnie Katureebe

STRETCH MARKS: HOW TO GET RID OF THEM


Stretch mark care at Kampala Dermatology

Stretchmarks fade with time; however, treatment may make them less noticeable more quickly. A stretch mark is a type of scar that develops when our skin stretches or shrinks quickly. The abrupt change causes the collagen and elastin, which support our skin, to rupture.


As the skin heals, stretch marks may appear.

Not everyone develops these narrow bands on their skin. Fluctuating hormone levels seem to play a role. You may also have a higher risk if people in your family get stretch marks.



If you develop stretch marks, you’re most likely to do so during these times:

  • Growth spurts that happen in puberty

  • Pregnancy

  • Rapid weight loss or gain

  • Weight training when you have rapid muscle growth

Applying a corticosteroid to your skin for a long time can also cause stretch marks. If you have Cushing’s disease or Marfan syndrome, you may see stretch marks.

When stretch marks first appear, they tend to be red, purple, pink, reddish-brown, or dark brown, depending on your skin colour. Early stretch marks may feel slightly raised and can be itchy.

In time, the colour fades and the narrow bands sink beneath your skin. If you run your finger over a mature stretch mark, you often feel a slight depression.


Diagnosis

Stretchmarks need to be diagnosed. Your doctor might examine your skin and review your medical history. If your doctor suspects an increase in your level of the hormone cortisol, you might be offered additional tests.

Treatment

Stretchmarks don't require treatment. They are harmless and often fade over time. Treatment can make them fade, but they may never completely disappear.

The following treatments are among those available to help improve the appearance and texture of stretch marks. None has been proved to be more consistently successful than the others.

  • Light and laser therapies. A variety of light and laser therapies are available at Kampala Dermatology that might stimulate growth of collagen or promote elasticity. Our doctors can help you determine which technique is appropriate for you.

  • Microneedling. This type of treatment the also provide at Kampala Dermatology and it involves a hand-held device with tiny needles that stimulate collagen growth. This technique has less risk of pigmentation changes than does laser therapy so is the preferred initial approach for people with skin of colour.

  • Retinoid cream. Derived from vitamin A, retinoids — such as tretinoin (Retin-A, Renova, Avita) — that you apply to your skin may improve the appearance of stretch marks less than a few months old and they are readily available at kampala Dermatology. Tretinoin, when it works, helps to rebuild a protein in the skin called collagen, making the stretch marks look more like your normal skin. Tretinoin can irritate your skin.

If you're pregnant or nursing, talk with your doctor about other treatment options, because possible side effects of retinoid cream may affect the baby.


SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT FOR A CONSULTATION

For a knowledgeable consultation and a pleasant, safe experience, contact us or book an appointment on WhatsApp: +256 780 907156 today . Our lead physician,

Dr. Ronnie Katureebe is a trusted medical, cosmetic and surgical dermatologist in Kampala. We are conveniently located in Bugolobi Bandali Rise.


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