Stretch marks are red or purple streaks that may appear on your skin during pregnancy or after rapid weight changes.
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When your skin stretches too quickly, tiny tears occur in the underlying layers. With time, stretch marks pale and become less visible.
Although these threads are most common among pregnant women, anyone may get them at any point of the life. You may notice reddish or silver strips on the belly, breasts, hips and buttocks.
Some of us are more likely to have these striae gravidarum (the second name for stretch marks) than others. For example women with fair skin, whose skin contains less melanin, have more chances to develop stretch marks.
If your mother or other close relative had these streaks, you have risks of getting them too.
However even if you are in high-risk group for stretch marks, there are some tips that can help you prevent them or reduce their amount:
#1. Hydrate your body – drinking plenty of water can improve elasticity and softness of your outer layer. Recommended fluid intake is nearly 72 ounces for women and 104 ounces for men. Fill your body's needs for liquid, taking clear water, herbal tea and other caffeine-free beverages. Be aware that caffeinated drinks may increase risks of appearing stretch marks.
#2. Apply a cream – moisturizing cream can help you saturate the skin and avoid its dryness and itchiness.
#3. Add vitamin C – this water-soluble vitamin, found in fruits and vegetables, plays a great role in building collagen and keeping your skin elastic.
#4. Exercise – physical activity can strengthen your muscles and tone the skin. In addition to this, regular exercises removes toxins and supple your tissues.
#5. Eat more zinc-rich foods – zinc is essential compound, which can fight off inflammation and speed up healing processes. Though there is no proven evidence about its ability to prevent your stretch marks, including zinc-full products like nuts and fish may help maintain your skin elasticity.
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It may be really difficult to prevent developing striae gravidarum. Fortunately there are many ways to make them barely noticeable. Laser therapy, chemical peels, retinoid and glycolic acid creams are recognized as the most efficient treatments for stretch marks.
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