Stretch marks are wavy marks that appear on the skin due to rapid weight gain. Often, they occur during or after pregnancy, commonly appearing on the thighs, abdomen, hips and buttocks. Stretch marks may gradually fade, but can still remain visible. Certain vitamins may reduce or eliminate the appearance of stretch marks. Consult a physician before increasing your daily vitamin intake.
Vitamin A is thought to be useful in fading stretch marks. Applied topically, it can promote the growth of new skin cells, add elasticity and strengthen the skin. Vitamin A also may benefit the skin, reducing the appearance of wrinkles and acne. Vitamin A is available in supplement form and is present in yellow and green fruits and vegetables, animal livers and fish liver oils. Consult your doctor before increasing vitamin A intake if you are pregnant or suffer from liver disease or hypothyroidism.
Vitamin C aids in the restoration of the skin's connective tissue. It's available in supplement form and is found in foods, such as citrus fruits, green vegetables and broiled fish. Among possible side effects of vitamin C is diarrhea, which generally occurs as the result of too much in the body. You should consult a physician on the proper daily amount.
Vitamin E promotes the growth of new skin cells and builds firmness and elasticity in the skin. It's available in supplement form and can be found in whole grains, green leafy vegetables, almonds and mangoes, among other foods. Consult a doctor before taking vitamin E if you suffer from heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure or overactive thyroid. Those taking anticoagulants also should consult a physician before increasing vitamin E intake.
- Dr. Emily Kane: Stretch Marks
- "Prescription for Nutritional Healing"; James F. Balch, M.D. and Phyllis A. Balch, C.N.C.; 1997
Nicole Brown began writing professionally for Java Joint Media in 2007. She has published two "how-to" books through Atlantic Publishing Group. Brown is a state-tested nursing assistant with two years of experience in the health care field. She graduated from the University of Rio Grande with a Bachelor of Science in communications/public relations in 1999.