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Fact or Fiction: Stretch Marks
by Staff
Many a pregnant woman has slathered her belly with lotions in a vain attempt to avoid stretch marks. But the truth is, most women get them at some point or another, whether it happens during pregnancy or not. So is there anything you can do about it?

The scientific name for stretch marks caused by pregnancy is striae distrae.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: It's striae gravidarum.

Stretch marks are most common in teenagers and pregnant women because the body is growing at a faster rate.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: They're most common in pregnant and menopausal women.

At first, stretch marks are darker in color, and then they fade to white.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: They don't become totally white -- just a light pink.

Dermatologists say prevention is key with stretch marks. And the key to prevention is healthy eating.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: It's not what you eat -- it's how much.

You should look for moisturizers that contain aloe if you want to prevent stretch marks.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: The most important ingredient is beeswax.

If you do get stretch marks, it's best to wait for treatment -- they're easier to treat after their color lightens.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: It's best to wait because they might disappear on their own instead of turning white.

If you want to treat stretch marks on your own, a combination of glycolic acid and vitamin C supplements could help.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: You should try vitamin D, not C.

Retinoids are another possible at-home treatment.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: True, but not if you're pregnant.

Dermatologists can use a laser called a V-Beam to treat early-stage stretch marks.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: It's the X-Beam.

About half of all women have stretch marks.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: It's less than half.