How to Prevent Stretch Marks

It’s better to prevent stretch marks beforehand than get rid of them later them later.  One of the most important steps you can take for stretch mark prevention is maintaining a proper body weight.  When you gain weight rapidly, the collagen and elastin can tear apart, resulting in tears in the dermis that are commonly known as stretch marks.  Another method for preventing stretch marks is staying properly hydrated, inside and out.  Drinking plenty of water keeps the skin from drying out, which make it prone to tearing. The standard recommendation is eight 8 ounce glasses daily.  Use lotions with high water or aloe contents to moisturize the skin topically.

How to Prevent Stretch Marks During Pregnancy

During pregnancy, women are sometimes anxious about their changing bodies.  Preventing pregnancy stretch marks is possible.  The most convenient thing about preventing stretch marks while pregnant is that you know that there will be weight gain and skin stretching. You can then prepare and pre treat the areas prone to getting stretch marks from pregnancy.

Massage with Creams, Oils, and Butters

A common recommendation to prevent belly stretch marks during pregnancy is to massage the stomach with cocoa butter.  It’s inexpensive and it works for many people. There are no specific pregnancy stretch mark creams that work better than regular stretch mark treatments, and many pregnant women want to use an all-natural product.  Vitamin E oil, Vitamin A creams, shea and cocoa butters, lanolin, Emu oil and wheat germ oils are all traditional ingredients to look for in pregnancy stretch mark lotions, balms, and creams.

Although these natural ingredients do help with pregnancy stretch mark prevention, much of the effects come more from the massage.  In fact, your massage technique may be more important than what your massage your skin with.  Massaging can increase bloodflow, collagen and elastin production and encourage the skin to become loose.  It is common skin care advice to not tug or pull on the skin because it can cause it to stretch and become lax.  With a stomach stretch mark massage, that is exactly what you are trying to do.  You already know that your belly will be stretched out, so you are helping the skin adjust by stretching it with your fingers.  A lot of skin damage occurs during the last trimester because that baby is growing so fast it is hard for the skin to keep up.  At this point, massaging is not as helpful as it is in the earlier stages of pregnancy.  If you begin massaging correctly during your first and early second trimesters, the skin will already be somewhat stretched out by the time the more rapid growth occurs.

Massaging to prevent stretch marks is not simply rubbing in a lotion or oil onto the skin.  You need to deeply massage the skin, not the muscles on the stomach beneath, by rolling with skin with your fingers.  Knead and pull the skin gently in all directions.  You don’t want to use excessive pressure and cause discomfort, but you want to stretch the skin quite a bit.  Do this once or several times daily, especially in the early part of pregnancy.  Since the belly will be so extended later, you don’t have to worry about making the skin loose in the beginning.

Nutrition

Great nutrition often leads to great skin.  Since pregnant women usually want to give their growing babies the best start they can, they are already eating a lot of fruit and vegetables and taking their vitamins.  Many of these nutrients will improve the skin’s condition and can help stop stretch marks from forming.  You should talk with your doctor before taking supplement for skin care, but many nutrients you’ll already be taking such as vitamins A, C, E are enough to give the skin what it needs.  One supplement you may consider adding is a powder made from mixed fruits and vegetables to get potent doses of phytonutrients.

If you’re left with stretch marks after pregnancy, there is still hope.  It can be time consuming, but you can reduce and remove stretch marks at home with exfoliation and stretch mark creams, but it may be best to wait until you are done nursing and perhaps even after you’ve had all of your children.