Stretch marks can be the enemy of a teenager's growing body. These reddish-purple lines can form when the skin stretches beyond its normal limits and scar tissue forms in its place. They are common in areas where you may experience growth spurts, such as the hips, thighs, buttocks and abdomen. Although the marks fade over time, they are permanent. Take action to prevent stretch marks from forming in the first place.
Eat a healthy diet. Acknowledge that some weight gain is a normal part of being a teenager, but avoid junk and convenience foods that can contribute to unwanted weight gain and the development of stretch marks. Choose a variety of fruits, vegetables and whole grains to maintain a healthy weight.
Work to build muscle slowly if you are a teenage athlete. Avoid rapid muscle gain with frequent weightlifting sessions, which can lead to stretch marks. Instead, develop a workout routine that emphasizes slow gains in muscle mass.
Keep your skin moisturized. Use creams and lotions to help make your skin slightly more stretchy, which is helpful when your body is growing. Moisturizers can also reduce the itching that can occur as a side effect of developing stretch marks.
Drink plenty of water to ensure that your skin appears "plumped" and healthy, which can minimize the appearance of stretch marks. Stay hydrated so that your skin doesn't look thin and dry, which can emphasize the presence of stretch marks. Aim to drink between eight and 10 glasses of water a day, and swap out sugary sodas or juices for plain water.
Accept that genetics plays a role in whether or not you develop stretch marks, regardless of the steps you take to prevent them.