If you’re wondering how to avoid stretch marks, you may be disappointed to hear that there is often little you can do to prevent them. Stretch marks are very common during pregnancy but they can appear at other times, as well. We will tell you what you can do to reduce your risk of getting stretch marks and offer you some stretch marks prevention tips, but we’ll also tell you what you can do to reduce the appearance of stretch marks if you do end up with some.
How to Avoid Stretch Marks During Pregnancy
Stretch marks are extremely common during pregnancy. They occur during pregnancy as a result of the skin stretching due to rapid weight gain, as well as hormonal changes that make stretch marks more likely to develop. Stretch marks that appear during pregnancy usually appear on the abdomen but may also appear on the breasts and other areas. It is often impossible to prevent stretch marks during pregnancy, but there are a few things you can do.
- Talk to your doctor or midwife about how much weight you should gain and try not to exceed that amount, or least not to exceed it by much, by eating well and exercising regularly. Don’t try to avoid gaining weight during pregnancy, though.
- While stretch marks during pregnancy are not caused by eating a poor diet, your skin does need certain nutrients in order to be healthy, including protein, vitamin A and vitamin D. Eating a healthy, balanced diet that includes plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables nourishes your skin and keeps it as healthy as possible. Talk to your doctor or midwife about whether or not you should also take a prenatal vitamin or any other vitamin or mineral supplements.
- Drink plenty of water, too. The amount of water women need varies according to many factors, but most women need at least 72 ounces every day. Stretch marks are not caused by not drinking enough water, but you need to stay well-hydrated in order for your skin to be healthy.
- There are many special creams, lotions, and oils marketing for the prevention of stretch marks. Later we’ll tell you about the best cream we’ve found for this purpose.
- Unfortunately, many creams and lotions that are supposed to prevent stretch marks don’t really work. Keeping your skin moisturized certainly won’t hurt, though, and it may help ease discomfort or itching caused by rapidly stretching skin.
Other Stretch Marks Prevention Tips
- The best way to prevent stretch marks is to maintain healthy body weight (1). Of course, there are many other benefits of maintaining a healthy weight, as well. If you need help losing weight or maintaining a healthy weight, talk to your doctor, and/or make an appointment with a registered dietician for advice and assistance.
- Some medications, especially corticosteroids (like Prednisone), increase the likelihood of developing stretch marks. While a short course of these drugs is unlikely to cause stretch marks, talk to your doctor if he or she prescribes corticosteroids on a long-term basis and you are concerned about stretch marks.
- Certain illnesses increase your likelihood of developing stretch marks, including certain adrenal gland disorders, Cushing’s syndrome, Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, and Marfan syndrome. Follow your doctor’s recommendations for treatment and discuss any concerns about avoiding stretch marks with your physician.
Stretch Mark Cream
Our favorite stretch mark cream is Insta Natural Stretch Mark and Scar Cream. It’s frequently used to treat stretch marks but it also helps prevent them from forming during pregnancy or other times stretch marks are likely to develop. It works on men as well as women, so if you’re lifting weights and bulking up or need to take a long course of prescription corticosteroid medications and are concerned about stretch marks, it’s definitely worth trying. To find out more about our favorite stretch mark cream, just follow this link to Amazon.com where it is sold at the lowest price.