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Stretch Marks 101

By: Carolyn Mctighe

Young Urban Moms, find the answer here on how you can prevent or reduce your risks of getting stretch marks

Stretch marks are one of those unfortunate side effects of pregnancy. But unlike heartburn and midnight cravings, they don’t go away once your baby is born. If you’re newly pregnant, thinking about becoming pregnant or you have a belly full of motherhood’s war scars, here’s how to prevent and reduce the look of stretch marks.


When skin is stretched quickly by the growth of a developing fetus, the elastic middle layer of skin can become damaged, leaving behind pale gray or red lines. Stretch marks can form on your stomach, thighs, breasts, hips and lower back. So what can you do to prevent them?

  • Preventive lotion. Lotion can be prescribed by your doctor or purchased over the counter. Ask your doctor which one will be the most effective.
  • Water. Keeping fully hydrated can reduce the chances of developing stretch marks.
  • Avoid caffeine. It is a bad idea for unborn babies and it’s also known to increase stretch marks.
  • Veggies. Eating a balanced diet is vital for preventing stretch marks. Foods that promote skin health are fish, nuts, citrus, eggs and milk.

Reducing What You Have

You have them and you want to get rid of them, but you’re not sure how. Though stretch marks are permanent, there are some non-surgical ways to reduce their appearance. If surgery is something you want to consider, there are some techniques that can reduce their severity.

  • Vitamin oils. Such oils as Bio Oil, vitamin E-and onion extract can reduce the redness of stretch marks, as well as help to smooth the skin.
  • Chemical peels. A physician places a chemical solution on the intended area, which begins to blister and eventually peel.
  • Dermabrasion. This procedure requires the skin to be frozen and then the skin’s surface is sanded down. This creates a smoother appearance.

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