In this week’s episode of KUWTK, Kim Kardashian pays a visit to her doctor to have her hated stretch marks removed. The laser procedure, which takes 3-8 treatments, aims to remove the scarred skin so that new collagen can form in its place. Kim’s in good company – according to the American Academy of Dermatology, 90% of women will get stretch marks sometime after their 6th or 7th month of pregnancy.
Stretch marks happen when your body grows faster than your skin can keep up with. Your changing body causes the elastic fibers just under the skin to break. In addition to weight gain, genetics also plays a role. Your belly and breasts are the two areas most commonly affected. Marks can also show up on thighs, buttocks and upper arms. They usually
start out reddish or purple, and gradually fade to white / grey after pregnancy.
When it comes to stretch marks, there are no hard and fast rules on prevention. While the latest laser procedures are promising, the magic cream or trick has yet to be discovered.
Despite this, there are some options to maximise your chances of keeping stretch marks at bay.
1. Keep your Weight Gain in your Recommended Range. Read more about pregnancy weight gain here.
2. Stay Hydrated. Water helps detoxify the body and helps your skin cope with the stress of stretching.
3. Eat Your Vitamins. Vitamin A aids in the repair of skin tissue. Vitamin E helps to keep skin membrane intact. Vitmain C helps in the production of collagen (essential in maintaining skin elasticity and regeneration of skin cells). In addition to these, don’t forget foods rich in Omega 3 fatty acids.
4. Pamper your skin. Exfoliate, massage and moisturize. Try oils specially designed for moms to be. Exfoliation is just as important as moisturising. Removing dead skin from the top layers of your skin allows new cells to surface and to increase circulation.
5. Exercise. Among many other things – including controlling weight gain (and thus, reducing stretching skin), being active helps skin maintain its elasticity, increases oxygen and promotes circulation – all of which helps make your skin more able to stretch.