Stretch marks can be an annoying and irritating cosmetic blemish. They usually occur after some sort of rapid weight loss such as muscle weight gain or pregnancy weight gain. These quick growth spurts cause the body to grow too fast for our skin to keep up. The result is stretch marks which can be unsightly and hard to get rid of. If the marks tear, they can look violet-colored and pretty bad. So let's talk about how to prevent stretch marks to begin with.

So how do you prevent stretch marks? Well in many cases you can, but some people are just prone to these unfortunate marks. There's several natural things you can do to possibly prevent yourself from getting stretch marks though. One of the best tried and true ways to prevent stretch marks from occurring is to drink plenty of water daily, keeping yourself hydrated. Many experts recommend as many as 10 to 12 glasses of water per day. Staying away from caffeine products can also help you. Coffees and sodas will actually cause people to become dehydrated. If you find you can't go without them, consider drinking even more water, or two times as much as each caffeinated drink you have.

Eating foods that promote healthy skin is another smart thing you can do. Foods that contain zinc such as beef, pork, turkey, chicken, salmon and lobster will help. Also, foods with vitamins A (milk, eggs, carrots, spinach, sweet potatoes), C (papaya, broccoli, strawberries, oranges, cauliflower, kale) and D (fish oils, salmon, catfish, soymilk, OJ) will benefit your skin. Also getting sufficient amounts of protein will aid in preventing stretch marks as well. Luckily man of the aforementioned zinc foods are also good protein foods, as are eggs, milk, whey and soy protein powders and nuts. Add a regular exercise program including aerobics, cardio and weights and you will keep your entire body healthy, which also promotes healthier skin.

Anti stretch mark creams may be one of your bets for preventing stretch marks. These creams will help to increase levels of collagen in the skin, which also increases the skin's elasticity. The creams may help to prevent the stretch marks, or reduce the intensity and occurrence on them. In particular, doctors have recommended these products for pregnant women to use regularly during their first trimester of pregnancy.

Pregnant women develop stretch marks due to the rapid growth they experience with the pregnancy. Pregnant women should try to stay within the healthy weight gain limits of 25-35 pounds to prevent stretch marks from forming. In particular pregnant women also tend to do well with rubbing a moisturizer on the stomach during pregnancy and others swear by the use of cocoa butter. The cocoa butter is used by many people who are looking for how to get rid of stretch marks. Products with vitamin E in them or almond oil have also been effective. Select skin creams that have large amounts of water in them as well to help prevent the marks during pregnancy growth.

Getting rid of stretch marks is entirely possible, but preventing them may not be something you can necessarily do. Don't despair as there are surgical procedures, creams and other ways in which you can treat or remove these unsightly marks from your body. A dermatologist will be able to discuss your relevant options with you to best help you in your situation.