Stretch marks are often associated with pregnancy although they are very common when someone has either gained or lost a significant amount of weight. If you’ve never had stretch marks (or even if you have!), the stretch marks you may get during pregnancy can be uncomfortable. We have some tips for caring for your skin before, during and after pregnancy to help prevent or heal stretch marks.
What are stretch marks?
Stretch marks (or striae, the dermatological term) are scar-tissue and show up as long, narrow stripes, streaks, or lines that develop in the middle layers of skin. They may appear lighter or darker in color than the rest of your skin. While pregnancy and the gain or loss of significant weight are the main culprits, hormonal changes can also be responsible for these marks.
Is there a way prevent them?
Some people are naturally more prone to get stretch marks based on their genes and their health. It’s difficult to predict whether or not stretch marks will appear, but many mothers say that consistently using oils or creams to boost elasticity in the skin helped with the appearance of postpartum stretch marks. Other moms believe that you either get them or you don’t—there’s no avoiding them. Whether you are one side or the other, there are still some things you can do to take care of your skin in the long run:
- Drink water – Staying hydrated is great for your overall health and can help ensure that your body is functioning properly.
- Maintain a healthy diet – Eating fresh fruits and vegetables is one of the best things you can do for your skin. Brightly colored fruits and veggies like tomatoes, kale and yellow bell peppers each boast skin-benefiting nutrition.
- Take vitamins – inevitably there will be holes in your diet if there are foods that you don’t like or if you don’t eat as healthy as you should each day. Taking a multivitamin (or a prenatal vitamin before and during pregnancy) will help to ensure that gaps are filled in.
- Exercise – Exercise increases blood flow and improves circulation. Getting at least 30 minutes of activity each day is great for your health…and what’s great for your health is ultimately great for your skin.
- Exfoliate – Clearing dead cells from the surface of your skin will help encourage the production of new cells.
- Moisturize – Rubbing lotion or oil on your skin will help it to remain soft and supple. Look for a moisturizer with Vitamins E, A or C, retinol and peptides. Keep in mind that retinol should only be used if you are not pregnant or nursing.
So, even if you can’t fully prevent them, stretch marks can easily be treated and you may be able to minimize their appearance. As always, we are here to be of support to you. Please contact us anytime Care@theollieworld.com.