Strategies for preventing stretch marks include eating the right foods, getting enough exercise and using special skin products to boost skin elasticity. It is also helpful to drink about 2 liters of water a day to keep skin strong and renewed.
Stretch marks form whenever collagen and elastin fibers stretch and break. Foods that contain vitamins E and C, silica and zinc help promote collagen growth, which helps the skin to remain taut. Niacin and riboflavin are also beneficial in maintaining healthy skin.
Exercise increases blood circulation, which allows the skin to remain elastic as it grows. Another benefit of proper exercise is that it lowers the chances of a pregnant woman experiencing swollen ankles and varicose veins during her pregnancy.
Besides skin products designed to increase skin elasticity, skin creams and lotions that contain vitamin E are also useful for lowering the chances of getting stretch marks. While using cocoa butter is a popular method of preventing stretch marks, no research supports the claim.
Special supplements and antioxidants, such as oligomeric proanthocyanidins or OPC, have anti-scarring properties that help to prevent the occurrence of stretch marks. A person should take 150 milligrams of OPC every day to help prevent stretch marks.