Stretch marks are the most common form of scarring among women. Caused by the rapid stretching of skin, stretch marks can be attributed to growth spurts or obesity, but most commonly develop during pregnancy.
Unfortunately, whether or not you develop stretch marks is primarily determined by your genetics. If your mother and grandmother have stretch marks, then you are predisposed to developing stretch marks as well.
Regardless of your genetics, there are steps you can take to significantly reduce or prevent the appearance of stretch marks.
Moisturize your skin
Moisturizing your skin will make it more elastic and help it to stretch without tearing. Begin moisturizing your skin in the first trimester, and continue moisturizing until you return to your normal weight after giving birth. There are many lotions and oils marketed specifically for preventing stretch marks. Ask your friends and read online reviews to determine the best moisturizer for you. Keep in mind that more expensive moisturizers are not necessarily better than cheaper moisturizers—especially if you use the moisturizer more sparingly because of its cost. For the best results, you should completely cover all areas susceptible to stretch marks—including your stomach, hips, thighs, and breasts—with a thick layer of lotion at least twice a day.
Photo: Arwen Abendstern