Other than inheriting enviable DNA, you can't do much to prevent stretch marks. "But you can mitigate the amount by applying constant lubrication," says Howard Murad, M.D., associate clinical professor of dermatology at the University of California, Los Angeles.
• During pregnancy, apply a lotion, balm or oil to provide extra moisture (plus, consider this as a way to take soothing massage breaks throughout the day).
• Postpregnancy, ask your dermatologist about pulsed dye lasers, which have been shown to reduce the appearance of relatively new stretch marks. Six to 12 sessions usually are required. Though prices vary, expect to pay between $300 and $750 per session.
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