How to deal with stretch marks
Posted Monday, October 14 2013 at 00:00
Stretch marks are a common symbol on our bodies.
Dr Peter Ntege, a general practitioner with ARR Health Services, explains that stretch marks develop on parts of the body with fatty tissues such as the breasts, upper arms, shoulders, stomach, buttocks, thighs and the lower back.
“The skin on the human body is made up of three layers including the epidermis, dermis and the subcutaneous or hypodermis. So the excessive stretching of the middle layer of the skin or dermis, over a short period of time causes weakening of the elastic support tissue, which develops into stretched marks on the skin,”says Dr Ntege.
He explains that stretch marks can also be hereditary.
Beauty consultant Daphine Nafula of Oriflame Uganda notes that although men and women can develop stretch marks, it is more common among women.
She says that stretch marks are usually associated with pregnant women, even though some may not develop it.
“When a woman gets pregnant her tummy becomes big and elastic hence stretching the dermis, leaving it exposed and seen through the epidermis. After giving birth, her tummy will reduce and some marks may disappear,”says Nafula.
According to Dr Ntege, obesity can also lead to stretch marks.
“When a person gains weight, the skin becomes elastic and the dermis is exposed around the fatty areas such as the stomach, lower back and arms,” says Dr Ntege. Beautician Catherine Kyolaba of Oriflame Uganda says body building can also lead to stretch marks since the body acquires more mass.
“Exercise keeps your body in peak condition and is one of the best ways to prevent stretch marks,”says Nafula.
Beauticians say stretch marks are not a medical condition, but a cosmetic problem.
To get rid of them, they say the stretch marks should be treated as soon as they show up.
“Once stretch marks pass the initial stage when they are red or purple, to a stage, where they become white or silver, often with deep indentions, they are much more challenging to treat,” says Dr Ntege.
Moisturising the skin to keep it flexible and plasticised is one of the ways recommended to address the condition.Nafula recommends that the skin should be moisturised more than two times a day, using products that contain cocoa butter as a main ingredient.
She further advises against the use of several products, especially oils, which only increase collagen production.