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Lock in moisture to help prevent stretch marks.

Mederma® Stretch Marks Therapy is clinically shown to increase the moisture content of the skin, thereby helping to keep skin more elastic and less apt to tear and form stretch marks.


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Mederma® Quick Dry Oil

Mederma Quick Dry Oil is the only oil that combines Cepalin with nourishing botanicals in a fast-absorbing, paraben- and dye-free formulation.  It is a multi-use product for use on scars, stretch marks, uneven skin tone, and dry skin. LEARN MORE >>

Mederma® Stretch Marks Therapy

A nourishing cream formula that combines a unique blend of ingredients to help prevent stretch marks* and can be used starting in the 2nd trimester of pregnancy. Paraben free! *Mederma® Stretch Marks Therapy is clinically shown to increase the moisture content of the skin, thereby helping to keep skin more elastic and less apt to tear and form stretch marks. LEARN MORE >>

What to Expect

Causes of stretch marks


Who gets stretch marks, and why?

The medical term for stretch marks is Striae distensae, and exact causes for it are still unknown. Some researchers think they are caused by the overstretching of connective tissue in the skin or by hormones. Others theorize they run in the family or can even be caused by a type of infection.1 No matter the cause, about 68% of women and 24% of men develop stretch marks.2

A number of events and conditions can cause stretch marks.

Pregnancy

As many as 90% of women get stretch marks when they are pregnant. It's not surprising that these marks commonly occur first during the sixth and seventh months - when the body is changing to prepare for delivery and the baby is large enough that the mother can feel her baby's body or head when she touches her stomach. During this time, stretch marks can appear on the stomach, hips and breasts.

Rapid weight gain

The way skin reacts to weight change also causes stretch marks. People who gain weight quickly can develop stretch marks, and losing weight quickly after gaining weight might even make stretch marks more noticeable because the skin becomes looser and less taut.

Rapid growth

Growth or stretching of skin over a short period of time can also cause stretch marks. This is why they are common in adolescents during growth spurts. During these periods of rapid growth, stretch marks commonly occur in boys on the outer thighs and lower back. In girls, the marks are more common in the thighs, upper arms, buttocks and breasts.1

About 70% of adolescent girls and 40% of adolescent boys have stretch marks.

Other causes

Though stretch marks are caused most often by pregnancy and rapid growth or changes in weight, other conditions can cause them as well:

  • Some types of bodybuilding where muscle mass increases quickly.
  • Stretching skin at the site of stitches.
  • Overuse of steroids, cortisone skin creams or corticosteroids (Cushing syndrome).
  • Some inherited conditions that affect connective tissues (Ehlers-Danlos syndrome).
REFERENCES:
  1. Striae Distensae (Stretch Marks) and Different Modalities of Therapy: An Update, Dermatologic Surgery, April 2009.
  2. 2011 Survey Conducted by Merz North America, Inc.

Helping prevent stretch marks from pregnancy starts in the 2nd trimester


The second trimester of pregnancy is a special time. You’re happy, excited, and radiating with that famous pregnancy glow. It’s also the time when you start to notice your “little” baby bump is growing bigger by the day, and it’s when many moms-to-be start worrying about stretch marks.

Now, you might think stretch marks are inevitable, but there are steps you can take to help prevent stretch marks during and post pregnancy.

First off, it’s important to remember that pregnancy stretch marks are incredibly common. Studies show that as many as 90% of women get stretch marks during pregnancy which often first appear during the sixth and seventh months, when the body begins to prepare for delivery.

Helping prevent stretch marks during pregnancy starts with understanding how they occur. While the exact cause is unknown, pregnancy stretch marks may come from hormonal changes and overstretching of connective tissue in the skin to accommodate your growing baby. As your stomach grows bigger, your skin must stretch along with it. Since this process happens rapidly, skin that isn’t well hydrated and elastic can be damaged, which may result in stretch marks.

Think of a rubber band. If the rubber band is dry and brittle, it can fray and tear when stretched. Conversely, if the rubber band is soft and supple, it can easily stretch without any negative impact. This same principle applies to your skin during pregnancy. By ensuring your skin stays well hydrated and maintains its optimal elasticity as you and your baby grow, you may be able to help prevent pregnancy stretch marks.

There are many ways you can help keep your skin more hydrated and elastic. You can promote collagen development by eating a balanced diet rich in vitamins E and C and zinc; you can hydrate your skin by drinking lots of water every day; and you can exercise regularly to improve your circulation. In addition to these measures, you can keep the surface of your skin soft and supple by applying Mederma® Stretch Marks Therapy, which locks moisture in to help prevent stretch marks,*and may be used during pregnancy, beginning in the second trimester. Apply it generously to your stomach, hips and breasts, and gently massage in a circular motion until fully absorbed. Repeat this process two times a day, morning and evening.

If you’re worried about stretch marks, it may be possible to help prevent them. All it takes is diligence and a new routine from your second trimester through delivery and nursing. If you’re interested in learning more about Mederma® Stretch Marks Therapy, visit here.

*Mederma® Stretch Marks Therapy is clinically shown to increase the moisture content of the skin, thereby helping to keep skin more elastic and less apt to tear and form stretch marks.

How stretch marks age


Stretch marks appear on areas of the skin that have expanded quickly and look like bands, stripes or lines. They can develop on the stomach, hips, thighs, buttocks, breasts and other places on the body.1

close-up of stretch markWhen stretch marks are new, they might be slightly raised and itchy. Coloring can range from red, pink or even brown,2 and the skin might seem thin or glossy. In time, the marks get longer and might turn a deep purple in color.

Eventually, stretch marks smooth out and become “atrophic” or sunken areas of skin. They also change to a whitish color.

REFERENCES:
  1. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, Superficial Dermabrasion in the Treatment of Recent Stretch Marks, March 2009.
  2. Striae Distensae (Stretch Marks) and Different Modalities of Therapy: An Update, Dermatologic Surgery, April 2009.

Myths and facts


Researchers don't always agree about what causes stretch marks1, but that hasn't kept people from taking guesses. Here are some myths and facts we do know, to help you sort it all out.

Myth: If you have stretch marks, you must be overweight.
Fact: Stretch marks occur when the skin is overstretched. That happens when you gain weight, of course. But it also occurs during pregnancy, rapid growth or any time the skin is stretched too far too quickly.
Myth: Only women get stretch marks.
Fact: Women do get stretch marks more often, but about one in four men (24%)1 get them, too. Boys can also get them when there's rapid growth during puberty, for example. Plus, bodybuilders of either sex can get stretch marks if they build muscle mass too quickly.
Myth: Losing weight will make your stretch marks disappear.
Fact: Unfortunately, losing weight doesn't mean you'll lose the stretch marks. In fact, weight loss can sometimes cause stretch marks to appear more noticeable because the skin becomes looser and less taut.
Myth: You can't do anything about stretch marks.
Fact: You can. Increasing the moisture content of skin keeps it more elastic and less apt to tear and form stretch marks, even during pregnancy. Plus, if they do appear, research has shown that certain products and treatments can improve how they look and feel. Mederma® Stretch Marks Therapy can both help prevent stretch marks2and improve the appearance of existing stretch marks. . For expecting moms, it may be used beginning in the second trimester and while breastfeeding.
Myth: There's no need to take care of stretch marks.
Fact: This might be the biggest myth. It is true that stretch marks rarely cause medical problems. But for some people, they cause embarrassment and distress.3 That's why dermatologists (doctors who specialize in skin conditions) and researchers have worked hard to find ways to treat them.
REFERENCES:
  1. Striae Distensae (Stretch Marks) and Different Modalities of Therapy: An Update, Dermatologic Surgery, April 2009.
  2. Mederma® Stretch Marks Therapy is clinically shown to increase the moisture content of the skin, thereby helping to keep skin more elastic and less apt to tear and form stretch marks.
  3. 2011 Survey Conducted by Merz North America, Inc.

Caring for stretch marks


The best way is to keep them from appearing in the first place. Mederma® Stretch Marks Therapy increases the moisture content of skin. Moisturized, supple skin is more elastic and less apt to form stretch marks. If you're pregnant, you may begin using it as soon as the second trimester. For existing stretch marks, experts believe that the most effective way to reduce them is to begin care as soon as possible, preferably when the marks first form1. But even those with older stretch marks have options to improve how they look and feel.

Dermatologists and researchers report that:

  • Creams with onion extract, like Mederma® Stretch Marks Therapy, can significantly improve the softness, texture and appearance of stretch marks.2
  • Heavy moisturizers and other over-the-counter products that are good for hydrating the skin can sometimes make stretch marks softer, look better and can reduce itchiness.
  • Self-tanners and sunless tanning products can help camouflage stretch marks. (But avoid suntans and tanning beds, because they not only can make the stretch marks appear worse, they're also not good for the health of your skin.)
  • Prescription cream with tretinoin (which comes from Vitamin A) can reduce the length and width of stretch marks when they are new, though it's not recommended for pregnant or nursing mothers.
  • Chemical peels can improve how skin feels and looks.
  • Laser therapy can improve the color of stretch marks and how elastic, or flexible, the skin is.

Talk to your doctor or dermatologist about options that might be best for you.

REFERENCES:
  1. Striae Distensae (Stretch Marks) and Different Modalities of Therapy: An Update, Dermatologic Surgery, April 2009.
  2. SKINmed: Dermatology for the Clinician, April 2010.

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