Ariel Ostad, a cosmetic and dermatologic surgeon in New York City, has put together 5 tips to help prevent or reduce those god awful lines.
1. Prescription Creams — Using Retin A Cream (vitamin A) at the inception of pregnancy, a weight-building program or a growth spurt is essential to keep the skin hydrated and moisturized. This will help reduce inflammation and stave off the negative effects of the hormones in the skin. This cream, available with a doctor’s prescription, also helps remodel the collagen and elastin in the skin and improve its appearance.
2. Exercise — A balanced exercise program, breathing exercises and meditation help balance hormone levels, especially cortisol, the stress hormone that, if elevated, can cause changes to one’s hormonal balance.
3. Diet — While there is no magical food that can help prevent stretch marks, Ostad recommends drinking at least six to eight glasses of non-carbonated water to flush out toxins and keep the body and skin hydrated as well as consuming skin-boosting fresh (no-sugar-added vegetable juices) leafy greens, lean proteins and omega 3 and 6 oils.
4. Moisturizing Twice Daily — Keep the entire body moisturized. Choose a moisturizer that is paraffin- and chemical-free and which contains alpha hydroxy and vitamin A.
5. Fraxel Laser Treatments — A non-invasive, FDA-approved laser treatment passes through the top layer of skin like light through glass, reaching into the dermis below to create thousands of tiny, microscopic areas of thermal damage that stimulate the body’s wound-healing response, notably new collagen production and replacement of damaged marked skin with new epidermal skin.