Preventing Stretch Marks

Written by Stacy Chbosky
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Preventing stretch marks should be a goal for every pregnant woman, body builder, and teenager. During phases of extreme growth, such as pregnancy, training, or puberty, the body grows beyond skin's ability to stretch. There are two solutions for preventing stretch marks in these instances: stop growing, or give the skin more elasticity. Body builders have a choice in whether or not they want to put on 20 more pounds of muscle, but pregnant women and growing teenagers have no such choice. Since they must grow, their only viable option is to give their skin increased elasticity.

There are dozens of brands of stretch mark creams available in pharmacies today. Many of these creams are little more than cocoa butter moisturizers. Moisturizing will improve the skin's elasticity, but only very slightly. Any home remedy for stretch marks that relies solely on moisturizing is likely to fail.

Preventing Stretch Marks with Skin's Natural Defense System

The best method for preventing stretch marks is to supply the body with more of the proteins it naturally uses to fight striae: collagen and elastin. Collagen is the building block of the skin. It is a protein that gives skin its binding nature. Elastin is also a protein found in the skin. As the name implies, it gives skin its elasticity. People with low levels of collagen and elastin in their skin are more susceptible to striae than those with high levels of the proteins.

The solution is clear. Increase the levels of elastin and collagen in the body, and you radically improve skin's ability to stretch without tearing. Since tiny tears in overtaxed skin are the source of stretch marks, avoiding the tear means avoiding the striae.


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