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Q&A with Dr. Gilberg-Lenz

Dr. Gilberg-Lenz On Stretch Marks

After my patients deliver their babies, many ask me about the products and at-home treatments for their stretch marks. As stretch marks are a common concern for many women after they have become mothers, I'd like to debunk the myths I often hear and highlight actual facts about available treatments.

Question: What causes stretch marks?
Dr. Gilberg-Lenz: Stretch marks are caused when the skin expands or stretches quickly, most often during pregnancy, weight gain or growth spurts. When the skin stretches, your body increases its production of cortisone, which weakens the elastic fibers in the skin. Your risk of having stretch marks also increases if you have a family history or relatives with stretch marks.

Question: Can moisturizers help prevent stretch marks?
Dr. Gilberg-Lenz: While moisturizing is beneficial to your skin, there isn't any hard data that shows that moisturizing regularly prevents stretch marks. Whether you develop stretch marks or not has a lot to do with the location on the body and your family history. There are topical creams specifically formulated to reduce the appearance stretch marks. One cream I highly recommend is Mederma® Stretch Marks Therapy. If you use Mederma® Stretch Marks Therapy twice daily, you should see reduced discoloration, improved texture and enhanced softness in twelve weeks, with noticeable results in as little as four weeks. I advise patients to consult their healthcare professional or OB/GYN prior to using any new products while pregnant or nursing.

Question: Do only pregnant women get stretch marks?
Dr. Gilberg-Lenz: Although statistics show that 90 percent of women are prone to developing stretch marks during pregnancy, it is not the only cause of stretch marks. Rapid growth spurts and weight gain can also cause stretch marks to develop. To learn more about stretch marks, check out "Stretch Marks 101."

Question: Do C-sections cause stretch marks?
Dr. Gilberg-Lenz: C-sections do not cause stretch marks. In fact, stretch marks are the result of pregnancy, growth spurts or weight gain. C-sections do, however, cause scarring. Women who experience scarring can use Mederma® Advanced Scar Gel, which is the first and only topical gel that is clinically shown to improve the overall appearance, color and texture of scars with just one application daily.

Hopefully these answers will clarify some of your concerns about stretch marks. If you ever have any other questions about stretch marks, be sure to consult your physician, OB/GYN or dermatologist.

All information in the Mederma® Learning Center is intended for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a replacement for professional medical advice. You should seek professional medical care if you have any concerns about your skin.