Stretch marks can occur during sudden changes in body size, such as during pregnancy, puberty, or rapid weight-gain. Ninety percent of pregnant women will get stretch marks around their abdomen, hips and thighs, and unfortunately, they seem to be genetic — if your mom had stretch marks, odds are that you will too.
Although Genetics will play a big part in prevention there are also several things we can do in hopes of preventing more damage than necessary.
- Moisturize. Always keep our skin hydrated. Lotions or creams can help ease dry skin and prevent stretching or tearing of tissue. Drink lots of water. Our body needs hydration, if we are not adequately hydrated organs like the skin (largest organ in the body) cannot function at their finest. This means if our skin cannot have adequate moisture its ability to flex and stretch can dwindle and cause unsightly tearing.
- Use Retin-A. Retin-A increases skin cell turnover and helps your skin produce more collagen. If you have older stretch marks you can also consider using prescription products like Tazorac and Differin. These contain retinoic acid.
- See your dermatologist. Your dermatologist can also treat stretch marks with the newest laser techniques to give you a much quicker result when wanting to repair your skin. Some lasers can help treat new red stretch marks; the Excel V would be great in helping with these kinds of stretch marks. For Older stretch marks you can always try using fractional technology. Lasers like the Fractional CO2 and the Fraxel laser can help stimulate collagen and reduce the overall appearance of these nasty tears.
- Have surgery. Tummy tucks, although VERY costly are the ONLY way you can guarantee removal of these scars. Unfortunately with a tummy tuck you run the risks that come with major surgery and the down time is beyond bearable. Most practitioners recommend 2-4 weeks out of work and up to 6 months before you are considered healed.
Don’t buy into all the hype. Non-prescription medications will not work, not even a little. Vitamin-E and Cocoa Butter will only help possibly prevent new stretch marks because they give your skin a little extra moisture. Stick with the pro’s let a licensed physician determine what your best treatment option will be.