What Can Prevent Stretch Marks During Pregnancy?
The skin is a strong, elastic substance and it is the largest organ in the body. When a lot of weight is gained or lost in a short amount of time, stretch marks can develop. Known medically as striae, stretch marks appear on the skin as long red or purple lines that sometimes accompany wrinkles. They appear most often on the thighs, butt, hips and breasts. Women who are pregnant are at greater risk of developing stretch marks because of their expanding stomachs. The best treatment for them is prevention, and if you are pregnant, you can take several different measures.
Eat sensibly. When you are pregnant, you will definitely gain weight. The healthy range you should gain is between 25 and 35 lbs. Do not overeat, because this can lead to excess weight and further stretch your skin. Also, make sure to eat clean. Foods that are high in vitamins A, E and C can have a positive effect on the skin's suppleness. Eat foods like oranges, sweet potatoes, sunflower seeds, carrots and grapefruit.
Use a good moisturizer on your skin. Keep your skin soft and moisturized with a topical cream or oil, such as cocoa butter. Also look for a moisturizer that boosts collagen, which helps give skin its elasticity.
Exfoliate when you shower. Exfoliating your skin helps lift old skin cells off the top layer and promotes circulation. Use a soft-bristled body brush and start in the areas furthest from your heart and work towards it. Use upward strokes and circular motions.
Do not scratch. Once your stomach starts to expand and your skin starts to stretch, it sometimes becomes itchy. Resist the urge to scratch it, as this can promote stretch marks. When you are feeling itchy, slather on some powder or lotion.
Get daily exercise. Exercise can help keep your weight under control and it can keep your skin elastic and toned. The end result is your weight can stay under control, which can further protect you from stretch marks. Perform exercises that are low-impact, like elliptical training, biking and walking.
Stay well hydrated. Water helps flush toxins from the system and it can also keep all the cells in the body hydrated, including the skin. The Institute of Medicine recommends that women get approximately 3.7 total liters of water day.
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