Q&A: Can you prevent or diminish stretch marks?
I’m afraid of getting stretch marks. What can I do to avoid them or help them go away?
Stretch marks (or striae) are an unpleasant by product of pregnancy for many women. Rapid stretching of the skin causes these initially red or purple marks. In time your stretch marks will diminish and become silvery or white in appearance. They should also become smaller or less pronounced, but won’t ever completely go away.
Seeing these red or purple lines creating a road map on your belly, hips, or breasts can be more than a little disconcerting for most women. There are many factors involved in determining whether or not you end up with stretch marks. Here’s what you need to know:
- Ethnicity is one of the strongest factors. Although no matter what your ethnic background is, 50 to 90 percent of you will end up with them. Almost 90 percent of Caucasian women will end of up with some amount of stretch marks. Darker skinned women tend to experience less stretch marks.
- Genetics are another big factor. Talk to your mother and see if she experienced stretch marks during her pregnany.
- Weight gain plays a big part in the stretch mark game. Excessive weigh gain will increase your risks of ending up with stretch marks.
- Hydration is another factor, and one that you can control. Drink plenty of water and use moisturizers to help keep your skin supple.
- Take your prenatal vitamins and eat well, there is no substitute for good nutrition in taking care of your skin, hair, and nails.
If you do end up with stretch marks, try to keep in mind it is a small price to pay for your wonderful baby. And after giving birth, you can nourish your skin with creams and oils to help your skin bounce back. You can also talk to a dermatologist or in some cases a plastic surgeon, for advice on how to help your skin’s appearance improve.