If I’m african american and have stretch marks, would a bleaching cream help??

Hi! I'm a 17 year old african american girl and I have stretch marks on my butt and part of my thighs but the stretch marks are lighter then the skin surrounding them which is much darker. I'm considering using a skin bleach that contains Hydroquinone to hopefully lighten the skin surrounding my stretch marks and possibly make them less noticeable. Is this a good idea? And if so can you recommend a good over the counter bleaching cream that is not too expensive?

I give you high marks for thinking creatively about this problem!   I hate to say it but usually that strategy doesn’t work well because it fades the surrounding color only a little, and it’s a lot of work for not much result.   The over the counter creams are all pretty much the same – they usually contain 2% hydroquinone.   If you still want to try, I really recommend trying it on a small test area for at least two weeks first, just in case it irritates you.  It could make it look worse if you get irritated.

The good news is though that you probably got these during a recent growth spurt in the past several years.  If that’s the case, they will usually fade quite a bit now, if you keep your weight stable or lower.   There is also some early data on fractionated CO2 lasers like the DEKA DOT for this problem but it’s still uncertain and it’s expensive.   If you do talk to someone about lasers someday, be sure they are an expert in their field and experienced with african american skin. 

Hope this helps,   Dr. I

Dr. Brandith Irwin, MD

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