It’s on every mom’s mind… whether you just found out you are expecting or if your youngest is in middle school: Stretch Marks. Those reddish-purple ripples around your torso and thighs are common in moms of all ages, but there are ways to help prevent stretch marks and remove the ones you already have.
Stretch marks are the result of little tears in the layers under your skin. As your belly grows, so does the chance that you will get stretch marks. Unfortunately, stretch marks are genetic, so if your mom had stretch marks during pregnancy, there is a very good chance you will too. Rapid weight gain can also be a cause of stretch marks, so maintaining a healthy weight during pregnancy is important (for a lot of reasons other than just stretch marks!).
There are no fool-proof ways to completely avoid stretch marks, but there are ways to give your body its best chance of preventing them. It all comes down to healthy practices and keeping your body hydrated. And if you are past the point of having more kids, there’s good news: there are ways to treat existing stretch marks!
1. Stay Hydrated
Drinking a lot of water during pregnancy will help your skin stay soft and supple. Well-hydrated skin doesn’t tend to get stretch marks as much as dry skin because it contains more collagen and elastin – both are very important to keeping your skin taunt and smooth.
The Institute of Medicine recommends that during pregnancy, women increase their daily water intake to 100 ounces a day, so approximately 12 glasses of water a day.
Limiting caffeine during pregnancy is not only recommended, but can help prevent stretch marks. Caffeine is a diuretic, which means it sucks the moisture from your body, leaving your skin drier and more susceptible to stretch marks.
2. Eat a Nutrient-Rich Diet
Eating foods that are packed with vitamins and nutrients will help boost your skin’s health. Diets high in vitamin-C,D, & E, as well as protein-heavy diets keep your skin looking younger and encourage growth of new collagen. Vitamin-C has antioxidant properties that decrease aging and dull skin. Try adding some of these foods into your diet:
- Dark Chocolate (70% or higher cocoa)
3. Moisturize Regularly
Even if you are drinking plenty of water, it doesn’t hurt to add some extra moisture on the outside! There are plenty of oils and creams that are rich in nutrients and natural ingredients that will nourish your skin from the outside, in.
Some of the tried-and-true moisturizers are Palmer’s Cocoa Butter for Stretch Marks and Basq Milk & Honey Stretch Mark Butter. These body butters are thick and creamy, great for nourishing skin and strengthening collagen and elastin.
If you prefer a more natural way to prevent stretch marks, try some of theseEssential Oils:
- Castor Oil
- Lavendar Oil
- Patchouli Oil
- Pure Emu Oil
- Pure Cocoa Butter and Vitamin E
While all those are proven to help reduce stretch marks, Cocoa Butter and vitamin E are considered to be the best cure for stretch marks. Most body butters or stretch mark creams will contain cocoa butter and vitamin E.
4. Keep an Eye on Weight Gain
During pregnancy, gaining weight quickly can be unhealthy for you and the baby. Keeping an eye on you diet and not over-indulging can help you maintain a healthy weight and gain weight at a slower pace.
Rapid weight gain can increase your chances of stretch marks because the skin is forced to stretch at a quicker rate. Eating a healthy, balanced diet and exercising can help your body regulate its weight and reduce your chances of weight gain.
5. Treat Stretch Marks While They are Fresh
Treating stretch marks while they are still new and fresh is the easiest way to reduce their appearance. If you start to notice stretch marks early on, make an appointment with your dermatologist or doctor to discuss options that are healthy and natural while you are still pregnant.
Sometimes it does not matter how much you work to prevent stretch marks – they still appear. If you are one of those unlucky women, there are ways to remove stretch marks and go back to your pre-baby skin.
The FDA approved StarLux laser technology reduces the appearance of stretch marks by using fractional lasers to penetrate the skin and initiate a healing process that increases collagen production and leaves your skin looking even, smooth, and stretch-mark free!
Elan Premier Aesthetics is proud to offer StarLux Stretch Mark treatments to their patients. Call (443) 502 – 5908 or click here to schedule a free consultation.