Stretch Marks: What You Need to Know

How can you prevent stretch marks?

What causes stretch marks?

You are thrilled to be growing a new life inside of you. Your body is accomplishing an amazing feat, but, unfortunately, growing a baby also comes with some not-so-pleasant by-products. One of these is stretch marks: the result of your body growing too fast for your skin to keep up. Essentially, stretch marks are the fibers of your skin breaking to accommodate your growing body. Since it is believed that 90% of women will get some stretch marks somewhere on their body during the pregnancy process, you may be relieved to know you are not alone. Most stretch marks usually appear on the stomach, but be prepared to also notice them on your breasts, buttocks, and thighs.

Can I prevent stretch marks?

The easy answer is no. There is no magic cream, lotion, or potion to prevent you from getting stretch marks, so don’t waste your money. Since genetics play a large role in the stretch mark process, if your mom had them, there is a good chance you are going to get them too. That being said, there are some things you can do to reduce the severity and amount that you get. If you try hard to gain weight at a slow and steady pace, the amount of stretch marks on other parts of your body can be greatly reduced (but you can’t prevent your stomach from growing). You can also use lotion to help reduce the itching that stretch marks cause.

Will stretch marks go away?

After you have your baby, this is the time to be proactive about your stretch marks. While you may not have been able to prevent them, there are things you can do after pregnancy to help them fade faster. If you do nothing, they will eventually fade to a silvery-gray color and be barely visible from a distance. If you can’t wait a year or two for this to happen, you can use a variety of treatment options to help them go away. A retinoid cream can be especially effective because it helps your cells turnover faster. Laser treatments have also been proven to make stretch marks fade or disappear. When it comes down to it, however, you should view stretch marks as proof of the amazing miracle your body just performed. You just grew a human being inside your tummy, and that is worth a few marks on your stomach. They are just proof that you are remarkable.

[Featured Image Courtesy of memoosa / stock.xchng]

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