Can stretch marks be prevented?

Stretch marks are the most common pregnancy skin problem. They most commonly form on the belly and breast area, but can also appear on the thighs, hips, bum and back, and usually form in the last trimester of pregnancy when the skin expands at a more rapid pace.

The good news is they fade into silvery fine lines between six and 12 months after pregnancy.

Unfortunately, stretch marks are part of pregnancy and there’s no proven magic formula for getting rid of them once they occur. However, you can help prevent or minimise them by exercising regularly (stretching and movement can help the skin adapt better to your expanding size) and applying products that contain Vitamin E (a powerful antioxidant that helps by protecting the skin’s collagen fibres).

Can I prevent stretch marks?

There is really no rhyme or reason to why some people are more prone to stretch marks than others. Experts say that if you want to know if you will get stretch marks, then simply ask your mother if she has any. But fans of creams and lotions say it is possible to prevent them with the right products. The issue here is – if you use a product and don’t get stretch marks, how can you know if you would have got them if you didn’t use the product?

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One thing is for sure: the better condition your skin is in before pregnancy, the better chance you will have of your skin recovering quickly after giving birth. A good diet and keeping yourself well-hydrated will help keep your skin healthy both during and after pregnancy. Plus, remember the following:

  • You don’t necessarily need a specific stretch mark product. A good moisturiser rich in cocoa or shea butter will do a good job too. That said, some of the best body moisturisers are recommended for pregnancy so it’s well worth looking at what’s on the market.
  • Remember to moisturise your whole body, concentrating on your abdomen, back (you stretch from the back) and breasts. Take the opportunity to give your legs and feet a massage at the same time.
  • Get into the habit of moisturising every day at the same time.

Originally posted 2017-06-07 10:20:06.