Stretch marks are indented streaks on the breasts, abdomen, buttocks, hips, and thighs. Stretch marks are caused by stretching of the skin during pregnancy, puberty, and rapid weight gain. Many pregnant women fear stretch marks, but there are a few ways to prevent them, including hydrating the skin and keeping it supple, eating the right foods, and exercising.
Keeping your body well hydrated with water is always a good idea, and it can prevent stretch marks. Drink approximately 2 liters of water a day to strengthen and renew your skin. Also, apply a topical moisturizer to your skin daily from the moment you discover you are pregnant. Your growing skin needs elasticity and well-hydrated skin to be better able to stretch.
Exercise can increase energy levels and improve your sleep patterns, as well as help prevent stretch marks. Exercise improves circulation, and better circulation keeps the skin elastic, which makes it more able to stretch as it grows.
Food is not guaranteed to keep away stretch marks, but eating a healthy diet can reduce your chances of stretch marks. Citrus fruits containing vitamin C improve your skin’s elasticity.
Vitamin C also contains antioxidants to prevent tissue damage. Foods rich in Vitamin E, B2 and B3, zinc, and silica help to form collagen, which holds your skin layers together. Beans, lentils, lean meat, raisins, and bananas are good foods full of zinc and vitamins for healthy skin.
The best defense against stretch marks is to ensure your skin’s maximum elasticity throughout your pregnancy. Proper exercise, topical lotions, hydration, and eating the right foods are the best prevention methods. The team at Women’s Medical Association of Nashville can answer all your questions.