During pregnancy, your body goes through countless changes in appearance. While your belly is growing, your skin begins to stretch at a rapid pace in order to accommodate your baby. If stretch marks are a concern, don’t fret! There are endless ways to proactively fight against them, even in your earliest stages of pregnancy.
What Causes Stretch Marks?
Stretch marks can form when the skin stretches a lot over a short amount of time. Regularly, skin contains trace amounts of collagen and elastin fibers inside that are meant to aide in this stretch. In order to boost these essential fibers, it is wise to consume foods with high Vitamin E and C content. Taking supplements is also a way that you can give your body these essential vitamins. Zinc and silica are two additional elements that promote collagen production in skin. You will notice that several popular skincare lines advertise their products as being collagen-producing and “age-defying.” Overall, one of the easiest ways to maintain healthy skin is to drink plenty of water daily. Hydrated skin will remain supple and will be less likely to over-stretch.
How to Prevent Stretch Marks
#1 Staying Active
Exercise can provide an all-around boost in your mood with the release of endorphins. By choosing to do something active, not only do you reep the benefits of additional energy, but you also minimize the chance of developing stretch marks. Naturally, you are stretching your skin during exercise, which helps out in the long run. Exercise also helps to improve circulation, which will keep your skin looking youthful and fresh. While it is not realistic to be running on the treadmill or taking boxing classes as your belly is growing, there are many forms of exercise that can be modified to accommodate pregnancy. Many studios offer pregnancy yoga or other gentle classes that are designed for those who are expecting.
#2 Creams and Lotions
Moisturizing your skin is probably something that you already do everyday. It is a great habit to form and there are actually specialized formulas that help with stretch marks. Cocoa butter and shea butter are well known for reducing the appearance of the lines. BioOil is also an excellent resource. Plenty of people use it daily, not only for stretch marks, but also for scars, acne, and more. The great part about the above mentioned is that the ingredients are natural. A visit to the pharmacy will reveal even more options that you can use on your belly and any other areas where stretch marks are becoming an concern.
#3 Coconut Oil
You have probably seen a surge in popularity of this popular oil. Coconut oil is great for many purposes, one of those is the removal of stretch marks. It not only smells delicious, but it is a very versatile oil that can be used on your hair, skin, and even for cooking. This is another natural remedy that is safe to use during any stage of your pregnancy, and also post-pregnancy. It is best to apply right after you take a shower. Your pores will be open from the hot steam, therefore allowing the coconut oil to be locked into your skin. It is hydrating and great for daily use.
#4 Act Fast
Do not wait until you see stretch marks developing in order to begin treatment. Preventative care is one of the easiest ways to avoid the problem. It is never too early in the pregnancy to begin taking supplements and using creams. This will benefit you in more ways than one, and will keep you on the habit of a good skincare regime.
#5 Soak Up The Sun
Spending time outdoors in the sunshine is a healthy way to get Vitamin D. Certain studies suggest a correlation between stretch marks and Vitamin D deficiency. Make sure that you are getting your daily dose. Direct sunlight exposure by means of taking a walk or gardening is one of the easiest ways to achieve this. If you cannot be outside, try incorporating more yogurt, bread, and cereal into your diet. These foods are known to include Vitamin D.
#6 Laser Therapy
If you have gone through your pregnancy and realized that you have a lot of stretch marks that just won’t seem to disappear, there is an alternative method to remove them. While laser therapy is a more extreme approach, but your doctor can advise which course of treatment will be most suitable for you.
#7 Glycolic Peels
Another method for getting rid of stretch marks is through use of glycolic acid. There are creams that can be prescribed along with the option to undergo a chemical peel. These treatments are on the pricey side and are often not covered by most insurance as they are considered cosmetic procedures. They are known to reduce the appearance of already formed stretch marks, but cannot block new ones from forming. Again, a visit to your doctor will determine if this is a good option for you.
Remember, stretch marks are nothing to be ashamed of. They are a natural indicator of what your body is going through as you experience pregnancy. If you do opt for a prevention method, stick to natural vitamins and oils. Keep yourself hydrated, well fed, and active. About 50-90% of expecting mothers are known to get stretch marks. In any case, this can vary. It all depends on the amount of weight gained and the condition of the skin. Do not prevent yourself from loving the skin that you are in, with or without your stripes.