I guess I'm just too stubborn to sit back and accept "fate." If there's something proactive I can do to at least minimize the impact, I'm all over it.
Again, just because I may have a genetic predisposition for say, weight gain, that doesn't mean I can't eat healthy and exercise. I don't (have a genetic predisposition for weight gain), but the analogy works.
In the meantime, I dug up some studies on the old Striae gravidarum (what the medical community calls stretch marks). They definitely seem hereditary, but that doesn't mean there isn't hope. Other leading cause seems to be excessive weight gain during pregnancy.
Here's what came up:
1. Risk factors associated with striae gravidarum
Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, Volume 51, Issue 6, Pages 881-885, A.Chang, Y.Agredano, A.Kimball
"Forty-eight-point-three percent of women with SG (43/89) versus 19.4% without SG (14/72) reported mothers with SG (odds ratio=7.0, 95% confidence interval [CI] 2.7, 18.6). Forty-seven percent of women with SG (42/89 women) versus 18.1% without SG (13/72) reported additional relatives with SG (odds ratio=7.2, 95% CI 2.9, 18.2). Eighty-one percent of women with SG (68/84) versus 30.5% without SG (18/59) reported a history of breast or thigh striae (odds ratio=8.6, 95% CI 3.8, 19.9). Forty-seven percent of women with SG versus 17% without SG were non-white (odds ratio=4.2, 95% CI 1.9, 9.6)."
2. Risk factors for the development of striae gravidarum
American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Volume 196, Issue 1, Pages 62.e1-62.e5, H. Osman, N. Rubeiz, H. Tamim, A. Nassar
A cross-sectional study of 112 primiparous women delivering at a private teaching hospital was conducted. Participants were assessed during the immediate postpartum period for evidence of SG. Presence and severity of SG were compared to characteristics of women using t tests and Chi-square tests.
Sixty percent of the study participants had developed SG. Women who developed SG were significantly younger (26.5 ± 4.5 vs 30.5 ± 4.6; P < .001) and had gained significantly more weight during pregnancy (15.6 ± 3.9 vs 38.4 kg ± 2.7; P < .001). Birthweight (BW), gestational age at delivery, and family history of SG were associated with moderate/severe SG.
3. Prophylaxis of Striae gravidarum with a topical formulation. A double blind trial
International Journal of Cosmetic Science, Volume 13 Issue 1, Pages 51 - 57,
J. MALLOL*M.A. BELDA**D. COSTA**A. NOVAL**M. SOLA**
A prophylactic antistriae cream (Centella asiatica extract, α-tocopherol, and collagen-elastin hydrolisates) was assessed by a double blind trial in 80 pregnant women.
In the placebo group 22 women (56%) presented striae, whereas in the treated group only 14 women (34%) developed striae in this pregnancy; this difference was significant (p < 0.05; χ2 test). An arbitrary score was designed to assess the intensity of striae (from 0 to 3); this score was 1.42 (sd 0.5) in the treated group and 2.13 (sd 1.32) in the placebo group and this difference was also significant (p= 0.014; Mann-Whitney test).
In women with a history of striae during puberty, the active cream induced a significant absolute prevention in 89% of the cases whereas in the placebo group all the women developed striae (p= 0.00014; χ2 test).
4. Striae Gravidarum, Folklore and Fact
Diane J. Madlon-Kay, MD*
This is just a really, straight-forward, easy to read breakdown of a study on stretch marks. It basically says that creams seem to have little to no effect and the biggest factors are weight gain and existing stretch marks. It's a good, if not depressing, read. http://archfami.ama-assn.org/cgi/reprint/2/5/507.pdf