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healthy weight gain
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How To Prevent Stretch Marks
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If you have stretch marks, you are but one of many.  Stretch marks are a type of scar located beneath the skin.  Stretch marks form when the collagen in the deeper layers of the skin tears.  Reason for this tearing include poor skin health, rapid stretching through weight gain or weight loss, sudden weight gain associated with pregnancy and sudden growth associated with puberty.  Now that we know the reasons for tearing, lets explore prevention methods.

In the simplest form possible, the way to prevent stretch marks is to keep your skin healthy.  I know this sounds very ambiguous, but it really is not rocket science.  There are many tips and rules to follow if you wish to keep your skin the healthiest and hopefully stretch mark free:

  • Drink at least eight 8 oz. cups of water daily.  You may need to increase this amount depending on how big you are and how much caffeine you consume.  Water will help keep your skin more elastic so that when your skin does stretch, it returns back to its original form without tearing.  Water also helps you maintain weight because it reduces hunger as well as helping with digestion.

  • Eat foods that promote healthy skin such as foods rich in Vitamins A, C, D, and Zinc as well as sufficient amounts of protein.  Always eat food in moderation as any sudden weight gain may stretch the skin too severely.

  • Exercise keeps your body healthy.  When your body is healthy, your skin is healthy.  As a recommendation, be careful with bodybuilding as muscle building too quickly may lead to stretch mark development as well.

  • If you are pregnant, try to stay within the healthy weight gain limits of 25-35 pounds.  You should try to gain weight as slowly as possible.  Sudden spurts of growth can occur during pregnancy that can cause your weight to grow too quickly and increase your chances of stretch marks forming.

  • Do not scratch any area where you are likely to get stretch marks (hips, abs, butt, armpit, lower back).  This skin should be gently massaged with oils or creams if it feels itchy.  Scratching pulls and stretches the outer and middle layers of skin and can contribute to more damage.  Massaging is good practice anyways because it not only prevents scratching, it also promotes blood circulation and helps stimulate new cell growth. 

  • Use a stretch mark cream or ointment 3-4 times daily in the areas you are likely to develop stretch marks (hips, butt, abdomen, lower back, arm pit).  This applies especially to pregnant women as 75-90% of pregnant women experience some kind of stretch marks related to their pregnancy.  The creams have ingredients which help improve you skin's condition.  This lessens your chances of developing a stretch mark.  Use stretch mark creams containing Siegesbeckia orientalis because this ingredient has been proven to regenerate collagen (the tearing of collagen is what causes stretch marks). 

Remember that stretch marks hate repetition.  Develop a stretch mark prevention routine to do every day and do your best not to stray.  If you do this along with a healthy diet and exercise program you should never have to worry about stretch marks.


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