How to Prevent Stretch Marks
Stretch Marks Info
First of all, anticipate where stretch marks might appear.
If you’ve just found out that you’re pregnant, then your abdomen and breasts are the areas to treat.
If you or your child is near puberty, then the places to anticipate scars from fast growth are the breasts, hips and buttocks in girls, and the upper arms, hips and thighs in boys.
If you’re a guy then you probably “get big” when you weight-lift, and you should pinpoint where you’ll bulk up. If you’re a woman lifting weights and you’re genetically inclined to exceed average female results, then you should do the same.
Weight gain from fat is not usually planned, and seems to creep up by surprise. Prevention of stretch marks in that situation is generally not even thought of. The best way to keep fat at bay is vigilance: always watch what you eat.
Another rule of thumb is to not only try to keep fat cells empty and shrunken, but to lose the weight slowly if you do gain.
Moisturize and supplement from the inside and the outside.
Keep the skin ultra-hydrated. Use viscous, natural oils. Squalene is recommended because this is a chemical that’s similar to sebum, the substance secreted by oil glands to moisturize mammalian skin. Its hydrogenated form is called squalane, and it’s found in olive oil and shark liver oil. Though toxic when injected, squalene, used topically, softens and protects the skin. It also has antioxidant benefits, which help to cut down on impurities that are known make skin problems worse.
Along with the squalene-based oils, topical retinoids applied to the skin tend to lessen the occurrence of scars. They accelerate the production of collagen, a protein that strengthens connective tissues. Supplementation with collagen helps to keep the dermis intact, even when overextended.
Drink six to eight eight-ounce glasses of water, every day. This internal moisturizing is just as important as any oil or cream you apply. Do not count your coffee, tea or caffeinated soda as part of your intake of water. Caffeine is a diuretic, which means it makes you urinate, which means it leeches out moisture.
Okay, with that said, you know what’s coming next: a lecture on good nutrition. It’s all for a very good reason. In the battle to maintain skin beauty, water and all the right nutrients are essential, and the reality is really quite simple: junk food will make you gain weight and get stretch marks, but eating right will make your skin great.
Vitamins and minerals are the key. Eat fruits and vegetables with vitamin A, which is essential for repair of skin tissue. Also eat foods rich in biotin, a B vitamin, which is a building block of skin cells. Eggs, bananas, and rice are such foods. Niacin is a B vitamin that enables the skin to keep moisture. Poultry, fish, beef, nuts and seeds are high in niacin. Vitamin C plays a big role in collagen production, so make sure to eat foods rich in C, like oranges and sweet peppers. Vitamin E is believed to strengthen the skin’s elasticity. Foods rich in E are blueberries, avocadoes, mangoes, leafy green vegetables, nuts, and certain oils.
Copper and zinc are the minerals that are most important for skin. Copper helps produce elastin. Cashews, brazil nuts, poppy and sunflower seeds are excellent sources of copper. So are cereal, meats and fish. Zinc is essential for connective tissue health. A zinc deficiency is believed to be a factor behind the development of stretch marks. Foods rich in zinc are poultry, lean meat, and oysters.
Rub it in, drink it up, and remember you are what you eat.
It may be annoying to slather on ointments, gulp lots of water, turn down sinful snacks, and stick to the “good for you” menus. But that’s what it takes to have minimum stretch marks from all that you do or become…and beautiful skin is worth the trouble.