Stretch marks, triggered by rapid weight gain, are scars resulting from partial “tearing” in the dermis. The more rapid the stretching and the less pliable the collagen fibers in the dermal layer of the skin, the more severe the tearing and thus the breakdown of skin elasticity. A number of treatments exist to manage stretch marks but prevention is the key. Drinking plenty of water, eating a diet rich in vitamin A, C and D, and avoiding rapid weight gain through a healthy diet and exercise regimen can help stave off the marks. Pregnant women can reduce, if not prevent, stretch marks by keeping the abdomen and breasts adequately moisturized. The key is to use a moisturizer that will hydrate deep within the skin and actually stimulate new collagen and elastin production.