They are pink, red or purple and you are most likely afraid to have them. Like this; these are stretch marks. They can arise from anything from pregnancy to sudden weight fluctuations. If you have them, don’t worry. If you don’t want to avoid them at all costs, there is a lot you can do.
So, whether you want to be the next Victoria’s Secret model to walk the runway, or just want to enjoy healthy skin without dents on your back and thighs, this blog is for you. Here are 6 simple lifestyle changes that can help you effectively protect yourself from stretch marks.
# 1 Get Vitamin D
This does not mean “spending all your free time sunbathing,” because excessive sun exposure can lead to skin aging and cancer. Get vitamin D from the sun in moderation and always use SPF. You can also get vitamin D from supplements and fortified foods.
# 2 Include Omega-3s in Your Diet
It is recommended that people eat about 8 ounces of seafood per week, as omega-3 is mostly found in cold water fish. Examples include salmon, mackerel, sardines, and herring. Avoid seafood that is high in mercury. In addition to fish, you can also get the omega-3s you need from vegetarian sources such as walnuts, soybeans, chia seeds, seaweed, and flaxseeds. Omega-3 fatty acids will keep your skin firm.
# 3 Avoid direct sunlight and wear sunscreen
The sun’s ultraviolet rays can damage the elastin and collagen in your skin, which increases your chances of getting stretch marks. It is very important that the sunscreen is absorbed into the skin about half an hour before exposure. Remember to reapply every 2 hours. If you’ve already noticed stretch marks on your thighs or other parts of your body besides sunscreen, you should also start using stretch mark remover for extra skin care.
# 4 Avoid smoking
Smoking releases free radicals that can destroy the elastin and collagen fibers in your skin. It can also reduce blood flow, thus depriving your skin of the oxygen it needs to regenerate. Smoking depletes other important nutrients needed to maintain your health.
# 5 eat lots of fruits and vegetables
There is no direct link between fruits and vegetables and skin repair, but vitamins A, C, E and zinc have been proven to be vital in maintaining a healthy balance in your body. Fruits and vegetables are rich in these and many other minerals, so be sure to include them in your diet.
# 6 Avoid or limit the use of steroid creams for skin irritation
Whether you have a rash, beetle bite, or eczema, you would most likely turn to steroid creams (or corticosteroids) to help you manage the irritation. However, these creams usually contain cortisone, which stimulates stretch marks as it weakens your skin’s collagen. Talk to your doctor about which creams are prescribed for you!
There are many other steps you can take to prevent stretch marks, such as staying hydrated using a moisturizer and refraining from using anabolic steroids. You should be aware, however, that stretch marks are sometimes inevitable, especially if you have a genetic predisposition. Even then, you can fight the result with specialized creams and the right diet. You got it!