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Stretch Marks

Okay, I know what you’re thinking. How can you be proud of stretch marks? These angry red marks stare back at you as if to say, “You’re scarred for life and you can’t do anything about it!”. Well, cheer up mom. You may wake up one day and see that they have faded to a rosy pink or subtle silver. Still not thrilled about your stretch marks? Neither are we. Let’s study the culprit up close.

What are Stretch Marks?

Stretch marks, or striae, is a form of scarring caused by rapid weight gain or pregnancy. This scarring occurs in the dermis, the elastic middle layer of skin. When the dermis is constantly stretched, it can break, leaving stretch marks. Stretch marks start out as a red or purple color, and eventually fade to a silver or white.

Why Did I Get Stretch Marks?

I’m willing to bet you have a friend or neighbor down the street that has had five kids and not a stretch mark on them. And what is it about that well-known actress who looks great in a bikini two months after giving birth with not a stretch mark to be seen (remember, there’s a lot to be said about airbrushing and laser surgery). Well, airbrushing aside, they got the good genes! Yes, you can blame your parents for the stretch mark curse or as we like to call them, badges of honor. Yeah right!

How Do I Prevent Stretch Marks?

If you’re genetically inclined to get stretch marks, you WILL most likely get stretch marks. However, there are some things you can do to minimize your chances.

  • Drink lots of water – hydration makes your skin soft and less prone to breaks
  • Limit Caffeine – have water instead
  • Consume healthy foods – Include zinc rich foods, such as nuts or fish and protein foods like eggs. Also foods rich in vitamins A,C, and D – such as carrots, oranges, and milk

And, you may as well lather up in belly butter too. This can soften skin, which may prevent some breaks in the dermis.

How Do I Fade Stretch Marks?

If you really want to rid yourself of stretch marks, see your dermatologist. There are surgical procedures that may help. For a more affordable solution, you can try an over-the-counter cream.

The final option is time. With time, the stretch marks will fade some. If you’re impatient like most of us, an over-the-counter cream will speed things along.

Please Note: Do not apply any creams or lotions to your body when pregnant or nursing, without first consulting your doctor.

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