Stretch marks are small, depressed streaks in the skin that appear most often on the abdomen in the later stages of pregnancy when the belly is rapidly expanding to accommodate a growing baby. Some women also get them on their buttocks, thighs, hips, and breasts.
A Healthy Diet Can Help Prevent Stretch Marks
A healthy well balanced diet with plenty of vitamin E and C, zinc and silica can help support the health, wellness and overall elasticity of the skin. Vitamin E, C and A promotes the growth of elastin and collagen. Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables on a daily basis will supply the body with the much needed vitamins and minerals required to support skin elasticity and collagen production.
Water is also essential to the elasticity of the skin. Proper hydration helps the skin remain soft and supple during pregnancy which ultimately supports the stretching of the skin during periods of growth and weight gain.
Avoid Stretch Marks by Exfoliating and Moisturizing the Skin Regularly
Exfoliation is an ideal way to slough off dead skin cells and promote the growth and regeneration of healthy new skin cells. Regular exfoliation promotes healthy and glowing skin over the entire body as well as increases circulation and blood flow to the skin. Exfoliation also prepares the skin for the application of moisturizer and increases the skins ability to absorb moisture.
There are a variety of moisturizers, creams and oils that can help the skin remain soft and supple throughout pregnancy. In addition to keeping the skin well lubricated, oils, creams and moisturizers also support the skin during periods of growth allowing for ample stretching without tearing the middle layer of the skin where stretch marks occur.
Skin lotions are often enhanced with vitamins and minerals that support the elasticity of the skin as well as enhanced collagen production. Look for skin care creams, lotions and oils that contain vitamin E, vitamin C, emu oil, coco butter, wheat germ oil, almond oil or lanolin. Apply to the skin twice daily to keep skin soft and supple as well as to prevent the formation of stretch marks.
Minimize the Severity of Stretch Marks by Gaining the Recommended Amount of Weight during Pregnancy
Gaining an excessive amount of weight during pregnancy can lead to the development of stretch marks. Doctors recommend a weight gain of 25 to 35 pounds (although this can vary depending on a woman's BMI) during pregnancy with a focus on a healthy well balanced diet.