Stretch Marks in Kids and Teens: 15 Priceless Pointers for Parents

Stretch Marks in Kids and Teens: 15 Priceless Pointers for Parents

  • Sumo

You were looking at yourself in front of the mirror when you realized that after all these years, those pregnancy battle marks you had are still there. They will constantly remind you of what you went through in carrying your child.

Here is the surprising part: your kids and teens could get stretch marks too, and they could stay on their body if you don’t do something about them.

Don’t worry. There are many ways you could help your teen in dealing with stretch marks. We have gathered 15 pointers you should know about when it comes to stretch marks on kids and teens, along with several tips on how to get rid of them.

1. Cause and Effect: Say Hello to the World of Stretch Marks

Say HelloBefore you learn about the different ways to reduce the appearance of stretch marks, it is important that you understand what they are, and what causes these stubborn skin marks.

Stretch marks are lines on your body that often appear in the breast area, arms, abdomen, thighs, buttocks and legs. Medically known as striae, stretch marks occur when there is rapid stretching of your skin, which causes the tissue under it to overstretch. This overstretching could cause stress on your skin. This affects the normal production of collagen, or the protein that holds the connective tissues in your skin together and keeps it elastic.

Disruptions in your collagen production could make your skin less elastic and also make it harder to keep stretch marks away.

What happens next? Read the next section to find out much more about stretch marks and your kids.

2. Skin Secrets: The Journey Towards the Appearance of Stretch Marks

Let’s say there is overstretching of your skin due to pregnancy or your teenager gained a lot of weight over the summer. What happens next?

Because of the overstretching, your body will develop fine scars under the top layer of your skin. These scars start in pink, brown, red or purple in color. During the early stages, you will also feel dents on the stretch mark area. Over time, your stretch marks will fade and leave you with thin, silvery lines. The dents on your skin are also less pronounced.

Here is the surprising part: stretch marks are common even among kids and teenagers. In fact, 70 percent of teenage girls and 40 percent of teenage boys will develop them, particularly during the puberty stage.

The important question to ask is why?

3. Understanding the Causes of Stretch Marks in Your Kids or Teens

Now that you know what stretch marks are and what they look like, it is time to understand the reasons why stretch marks are forming on your child’s skin.

There are many causes of stretch marks, including:

  • Changes in WeightGrowth Spurts – This is the most common culprit for stretch marks among teens. A growth spurt usually happens during the puberty stage when your teen experiences physical changes in their body. These physical changes could test your teen’s skin elasticity and leave marks on stretch mark-prone area like the breasts, buttocks, hips, arms and thighs.
  • Extreme Changes in Weight– From being cuddly babies, your growing kids will become more conscious with their appearance. Sudden weight gain and rapid weight loss are reasons why stretch marks happen to your teens. Weight gain causes your teens’ skin to stretch to accommodate the extra weight. On the other hand, weight loss could cause more stretch marks to cover smaller areas.
  • Body Building –Kids tend to be more active, which explains why they pursue sports at an early age. However, exercising and weight lifting to improve athletic skills at an early age also means growing their skin. If your child develops muscles quickly, they may not be able to stretch enough to make room for the added bulk. This causes stretch marks on the arms, stomach and thigh area.
  • Steroid Use –If your child has medical condition like asthma or allergies, then the steroids contained in the medication could be the reason why they have stretch marks. Prolonged use of medications with steroids is one of the side effects.
  • Genes – If stretch marks run in the family, then there is a higher possibility that your child will develop them, too.

Given these causes, this does not mean that stretch marks are unavoidable and cannot be treated. There are various ways you can help minimize stretch marks on your teenager’s body, which you will learn more about as you go through the article.

4. After Effects: The Psychological Effects of Stretch Marks on Your Kids or Teens

How do you feel about your own stretch marks? Admit it - you probably have tried every anti-stretch mark cream on the market to be sure that your lines are less noticeable.

Think about what your extra self-conscious 14-year old will feel like.

Here’s the truth about stretch marks on teens: They are more than just a few lines and marks on their skin. It alters not just your kids’ physical appearance, but it also has a psychological impact on them, which is often negative.

StressPuberty itself is a stage full of awkwardness because of the physical changes in the body. Coupled with stretch marks, it could be a phase in your teenager’s life where they feel the following:

  • Low self-esteem
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Stress and worry
  • Poor body image
  • Increased self-consciousness
  • Avoidance of activities they used to love to do that could show their skin

The bottom line is, stretch marks may not pose a serious medical threat, but more on a cosmetic issue. However, it could affect your teen’s psychological state, which is why your role as a parent is crucial at this stage.

5. The Truth About Stretch Marks Every Parent Should Know

Stretch marks can be embarrassing for both kids and adults. You might see changes in your teenager’s behavior and self-esteem, which you don’t want to see as a parent.

Still, here is something you need to remember: be honest about stretch marks. No matter how much you want your child to feel better, you can never get rid of stretch marks completely. Chances are, they will stay on your teen’s body forever. Explain to your child the nature of stretch marks and make them understand what they can do to prevent them. Don’t make promises they will hold on to in order to minimize their disappointment.

Here’s the good news: you can do something to help your child minimize the appearance of these marks without waiting for them to grow up. Keep reading to learn more about these effective treatment strategies.

6. OTC Stretch Mark Creams: Your Child’s Defense Against Unwanted Lines

In most cases, stretch marks are unavoidable. Here’s the good news: you can minimize them,especially if you treat them promptly. In this case, over-the-counter stretch mark creams could be your teen’s or child’s first line of defense.

Vitamin CHere are some of the ingredients your child’s chosen stretch mark cream should have:

  • Retinol – This vitamin A derivative stimulates collagen production to minimize appearance of stretch marks.
  • Mederma –Contains onion extract that softens and minimizes scars.
  • Centella Asiatica –It has anti-inflammatory properties and designed to stimulate the production of collagen and elastin to give your teenager’s skin a tighter appearance.
  • Vitamin C or Peptides –Both ingredients stimulate collagen to reduce stretch marks.

Over-the-counter products are helpful in minimizing stretch marks on your child’s skin, and the results could manifest themselves within six to eight weeks. Make sure to ask for a recommendation from your doctor to make sure that the OTC cream is safe for your child’s skin.

You can also try natural treatments, which you will learn more about in the next section.

7. Say Goodbye to Stretch Marks: Using Natural Treatments

If you don’t want to try over-the-counter creams on your child’s stretch marks, you can always rely on natural methods to help you reduce them. Aside from being more affordable and easily accessible, natural treatments have fewer side effects.

Natural Treatments Against Stretch Marks

Here are some simple and effective home remedies for reducing stretch marks:

  • Potato Juice – Potatoes have tons of minerals and vitamins that enhance growth and repair of skin cells. Simply rub slices of potato on your child’s skin for five to 10 minutes and let it dry before rinsing with water.
  • Olive Oil – This is an excellent moisturizer with hydrating and cooling properties. Applying olive oil on stretch marks area enhances blood circulation and makes your skin smoother, thereby reducing stretch marks.
  • Cocoa Butter – This is a perennial treatment against stretch marks because of its ability to reduce fine lines. It hydrates your child’s skin and boosts smoothness and elasticity.
  • Lemon Juice –When it comes to fading scars and stretch marks, lemon is another option you can try. Applying lemon juice on your child’s skin could lighten the appearance of stretch marks. Mix it with cucumber juice for added benefits.
  • Castor Oil – This ingredient is also worth trying when it comes to reducing stretch marks on your child’s skin. Massage the oil on affected areas, wrap them on cloth, and apply heating pad on the spots for 30 minutes.

8. Water: The Simplest, Most Effective Way to Deal With Stretch Marks

WaterIf your kid refuses to drink eight to 10 glasses of water every day, here is a reason why you should encourage them more:

  • Water keeps your child’s skin hydrated. Hydration increases skin elasticity and helps maintain moisture in your child’s body, which are both helpful in preventing stretch marks.
  • Water cleans the body. Drinking water also removes toxins in your teen’s body and flushes out the free radicals, which contributes to making your child’s skin dry and flaky.
  • Water manages weight easily. Increasing water intake helps manage weight, which minimizes the risk of overstretching your child’s skin.

Tips to Increase Water Intake in Your Kids and Teens

Many youngsters don’t like the plain taste of water, so here are some ways to encourage them to drink more of it without a struggle:

  • Place water in attractive, fun cups and containers.
  • Add ice to their water.
  • Try placing apple, lemon or lime slices in their water.
  • Make ice in fun shapes using a special ice cube tray.
  • Be a good role model by drinking lots of water, too.
  • Make water more accessible.
  • Add water-enriched fruits like watermelons, oranges and grapes during mealtime.
  • Serve sparkling seltzer water with a splash of fruit juice.

9. Combat Stretch Marks: Encouraging Your Child to Move Around

How often does your child exercise? Apparently, the amount of time a child moves around or spends outside could also help in minimizing those unwanted marks.

ExerciseThe truth is physical activities are important in your child’s daily schedule. It is a good form of exercise and at the same time, helps maintain your child’s weight, which could contribute to stretch marks. Exercise and stretching exercises also prevent rapid weight gain and keeps your teen’s body in shape.

Therefore, encourage physical activities in and out of the home. You don’t need to enroll your teen in the gym or in sports classes, unless they want to try them.There are various ways you can encourage your child to move around more, such as:

  • Take them for a walk or jog in the local park or walking path.
  • Have them help you do household chores while playing their favorite music.
  • Play a variety of fun sports, like baseball or skating.
  • Organize play dates with fellow moms.
  • Take them with you when you walk the dog.
  • Limit their screen time and schedule a specific time each day for play and exercise.

Setting a good example is also important to ensure that your child will move around as much as they can. Do you want to know what the best part is? Working out as a family is a good bonding experience, too. It helps you lose a few pounds, as well.

10. Promote a Healthy Lifestyle and Reduce Stretch Marks for You Both

Another simple but challenging way to minimize stretch marks is by eating a healthy diet. This is because natural foods contain vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that prevent free radical formation that could damage your skin. Consequently, a healthy, balanced diet prevents weight gain and keeps your teen’s weight in the right numbers on the scale.

However, remember this: foods are meant to boost the skin’s elasticity and collagen production. There is no specific food that promises to get rid of stretch marks on your teen’s body. The best way natural foods could help is to provide your kid’s body with the essential nutrients and minerals to keep their skin strong, yet supple.

Healthy Eating Tips for Stretch Mark Prevention

orangesYou can help your child avoid stretch marks and be healthier in general by encouraging them to:

  • Eat more foods rich in vitamins A, C, and E like oranges, grapefruit, carrots and peaches. Aside from being good for their skin, these vitamins are excellent antioxidants and encourage their body to make more collagen.
  • Avoid junk and processed foods containing toxins to prevent damage to their skin.
  • Serve five portions of fruits and veggies everyday to minimize any future damage to your child’s skin.
  • Add more whole grains like oats, whole wheat bread, whole grain pasta and brown rice.

11. Moisturize and Exfoliate: Two Skincare Routines Your Child Should Practice

You might think that skin care should start once your kids are older. Apparently, that’s not how it should be. As soon as your child is born, it is important to keep their skin moisturized by applying gentle lotion on their skin. Moisturizing your kids’ skin improves blood circulation, increases absorption and encourages hydration, which improves your child’s skin elasticity. This minimizes the appearance of stretch marks and prevents them from coming back.

On the other hand, exfoliation is important as soon as your child hits the puberty stage, regardless if there are lines on their skin. Here’s why they should exfoliate:

  • It improves your child’s skin texture.
  • Exfoliating gets rid of dead skin cells, dirt, bacteria and other unwanted substances in their skin.
  • It increases your child’s ability to absorb moisture to keep skin soft and hydrated.

How to Moisturize and Exfoliate the Skin

You can help your older child or teen exfoliate by:

  • moisturizerChoosing a gentle exfoliant and a brush or loofah to remove dead skin cells and dirt in your child’s skin.
  • Brush the skin gently and in a circular motion.
  • After bathing, apply a moisturizer specially formulated for kids or teens.
  • Make sure to apply the moisturizer every day, within three minutes after bathing to lock in the moisture.

Despite its benefits, your teen should avoid exfoliating their skin more than two or three times a week to prevent drying out of their skin.

12. You Can Never Go Wrong with Vitamin E Against Stretch Marks

When it comes to eliminating stretch marks, vitamin E will always be a big part of the list. This is because vitamin E is capable of repairing damaged skin and is essential in keeping your child’s skin healthy. It also promotes skin elasticity and makes your child’s skin able to stretch, thereby preventing the appearance of stretch marks.

Using Vitamin E for Stretch Marks

Here’s how to use vitamin E to fight against stretch marks:

  • Massage your child’s skin using a vitamin E-rich body oil once or twice a day daily. You can also combine it with other ingredients like almond oil or cocoa butter.
  • Add vitamin E-rich foods in their daily diet. This includes avocados, nuts and seeds.

Make sure to pay attention to any skin reactions when you use vitamin E oil on your child’s skin. You should test it on a small area on their hand first to see if there are any negative reactions. Discontinue use immediately to prevent further irritation.

13. Stop Stretch Marks from Making an Appearance on Your Child’s Skin

healthy dietPrevention will always be better than a cure. Although there are many remedies available, it is best to prevent the formation of stretch marks on your child’s skin as early as possible. To help you help your child, here are some prevention tips you can try:

  • Encourage a healthy diet and increase their intake of vitamin A, C, and E-rich foods.
  • Keep your child’s skin moisturized using creams or lotions.
  • Have your child drink eight to 10 glasses of water daily.
  • Help your child maintain a healthy weight.
  • As your child grows, allow them to gain weight gradually.
  • Ensure that your teen’s workout routine emphasizes slow gains in muscle mass.
  • Teach your child about applying sunscreen regularly.

14. Stretch Mark Help: Schedule a Trip to the Dermatologist

More importantly, don’t forget to schedule a trip to the dermatologist,especially if your child’s stretch marks are getting out of hand or taking a toll on your child’s self-esteem. A trip to the skin doctor is also recommended if you want your child’s stretch marks evaluated further to ensure a proper and corresponding treatment.

You might be tempted to put everything in your own hands when it comes to your child. However, dermatologists are skin experts. They can recommend creams, pills and treatments to help minimize the appearance of your child’s stretch marks. They will also provide advice, skin care tips, and appropriate solutions to help you deal with your child’s marks.

If you are thinking of laser treatments or chemical peels to reduce the appearance of stretch marks on your child’s skin, then make sure you will get clearance from a dermatologist. This is to ensure that your child is a good candidate, and to minimize skin complications and issues in the future, too.

In other words, don’t take a dermatologist’s role for granted.

15. Mother Knows Best: Teach Your Child to Accept Skin Issues and Move On

Mother Knows BestMore importantly, it’s all boils down to the proper mindset. For your child or teenager, the appearance of stretch marks is one of the difficult things they will have to deal with as they grow up. It affects their self-confidence and body image, which is hard for a young person to understand.

Surely, there are more pressing issues that will come later on in their lives. For now, one of the best things you can do is to teach, help and guide them in learning to accept that their stretch marks will take a lot of effort and time to minimize. They will also need to learn that they are not defined by their stretch marks.

You can do this by trying the following techniques:

  • Explain what stretch marks are all about –what they are, the causes, risk factors, treatment, and prevention tips.
  • Teach your child to love their bodies by focusing not just on the outside, but the inside, as well.
  • Avoid body shaming or comparing your teen to others who are free from stretch marks.
  • Set an example for your child. If your child sees that you are happy with your body, it sends the right signals that they can love it too.
  • Raise happy children in a positive environment.
  • Encourage your child to focus on their talents and strengths and not their flaws.
  • Remind your teenager there are a thousand more teens who experience the same thing, and they are not alone.

In Conclusion

Whether you blame it on your genes or not, there is a possibility that your child will develop stretch marks. As a parent, it is important that you explain what these lines are, and help them find solutions to minimize their appearance. Use these 15 pointers to guide you better.

More importantly, don’t let stretch marks affect your child’s self-esteem and confidence. Give them a boost and let them feel that despite the imperfections, they are not alone, and they are special to you.