BACKGROUND: Stretch marks (Striae gravidarum) are a cutaneous change occurring commonly during pregnancy. A variety of products are available and promoted as ways to prevent or reduce their development, but it is not clear what products are used most commonly. The objective of this study was to identify topical products used during pregnancy to prevent or reduce the development of striae gravidarum. We also explored issues around application of the product, cost incurred and influences on women's decisions to use a product.
METHODS: In this cross sectional, descriptive survey we collected data from 773 women, via a paper (n = 707) or online (n = 66) questionnaire. Due to missing data in the online survey, 753 women at 36 weeks gestation or more were included in the analyses. Descriptive and inferential statistical analyses were undertaken.
RESULTS: Most respondents (n = 589, 78.2 %) indicated that they used a product to prevent or reduce the development of stretch marks during their current pregnancy. A large range of products were used and more than one third of women (n = 210, 36.5 %) had used two or more products. Bio-oil was the most frequently used product (n = 351, 60.9 %) and it was also the most frequently used product among women who used only one product (n = 189, 32.8 %).
CONCLUSIONS: Many women apply one of the many products available to prevent or reduce the development of striae gravidarum. Bio-oil was the most commonly used product identified in this study. There is a need for high-quality evidence on the effectiveness of Bio-oil and other products.
- Journal Article