Stratamark – the new clinically proven medical product for the prevention and treatment of Striae Distensae
Striae distensae, or stretch marks, are common linear atrophic scars that have several different classifications: striae distensae (SD) is the generic term for stretch marks, striae rubra (SR) describes early red scarring that occurs in the epidermis, striae alba (SA) describes the stretch marks as they become mature, whiter and depressed, and striae gravidarum (SG) describes stretch marks that occur due to pregnancy. Stretch marks are two and a half times more likely to develop in women and the prevalence of SG ranges between 50–90%, with most control groups showing between 65% and 70% developed during pregnancy.1-4 They can appear anywhere except the face, palms and soles of the feet.5 In pregnancy, SG generally start in the second trimester and most frequently affects all four quadrants of the abdomen, as well as the breasts. They appear less commonly on the buttocks, hips, arms and thighs.1,2 In males, the most common sites for stretch marks are the outer aspects of the thighs and the lumbosacral region, whilst for females the thighs, upper arms, buttocks and breast are the most common sites.4
Whilst stretch marks are not detrimental to one’s physical health, fresh scarring can result in itchiness, tenderness and pain. Case studies report they may lead to a persistent feeling of inferiority and even precipitate serious depression states, especially in teenagers5 and those individuals who experience large extensive scarring.
Microscopically, SD are scars with a thin, flattened, atrophic epidermis and flattening of the rete ridges. The pathogenesis of SD is still not fully understood, but most authors agree that there are definitive changes in the extracellular matrix, especially changes in collagen, elastin and fibrillin.5,6,7 Gene expression studies have suggested that SD skin shows decreased fibroblast metabolism compared to normal skin, with decreased levels of collagen, elastin and fibronectin gene expression5,6,7.
New and proven stretch mark treatment
Treatments for the reduction and prevention of SD include phototherapy, laser therapy, pulsed light therapy, topical tretinoin and various other hydrant creams, oils and herbal remedies. Hundreds of products are available on the market claiming to improve stretch marks with no clinical trials or proof of efficacy. To date, the treatment modalities that are efficacious at reducing stretch marks are expensive and contraindicated in pregnancy. Until now.
Stratamark is a topical gel made with a unique formulation, which is applied to the surface of the skin where it forms a thin, flexible and protective sheet. This barrier not only hydrates and protects the skin but also impacts the epidermal-dermal signaling cascade, ultimately normalising the collagen synthesis cycle that is disrupted during the formation of stretch marks. Manufactured by Stratpharma in Switzerland, Stratamark is the first clinically proven TGA registered topical medical device for the treatment and prevention of stretch marks.
In a new published European clinical trial8, Stratamark demonstrated highly statistically significant results in the prevention of stretch marks in pregnant women, where only 18.2% of patients developed stretch marks instead of the consensus 65% – 70% of pregnant women. Those women who did develop stretch marks using Stratamark, developed only mild and mild-moderate stretch marks. No severe or very severe cases were observed.
In a separate clinical trial for the treatment of stretch marks8, 80% of women demonstrated improvement in their striae distensae which was also statistically significant. Stratamark was shown to soften and flatten the scars, reduce redness and discolouration and relieve the itching and discomfort in 80% of pregnant women whom already had stretch marks from a previous pregnancy.
Stratamark contains no active ingredients and is completely biocompatible. It’s odourless and free from alcohol, parabens and fragrances that may irritate anyone with sensitive skin. Stratamark does not penetrate below the stratum corneum, so it is absolutely safe for pregnant mothers, babies and people with sensitive skin.
Easy-to-use, Stratamark is applied to clean, dry skin just once a day or after each wash. For pregnant women wanting to prevent the formation of stretch marks, this should be done daily from the beginning of the second trimester (13 weeks pregnant) or after the first sign of stretch marks, whilst, for those wanting to treat existing stretch marks, Stratamark should be applied daily for a minimum of 60 to 90 days or until no further improvement is seen.
Not just for pregnant women
Whilst stretch marks are more likely in pregnant women, they can also occur in both men and women during times of rapid growth, weight loss and gain, and after breast augmentation. Stratamark is indicated for the prevention and treatment of all kinds of stretch marks and, because of its novel application, is particularly effective on those, covering a wide surface area.
1. Osman H, Usta IM, Rubeiz N, Abu-Rustum R, Charara I, Nassar AH. BJOG 2008;115:1138-1142.
2. Rangel O, Arias I, Garcia E, Lopez-Padilla S. Advances In Therapy 2001;18(4):181-186.
3. Pribanich S, Simpson FG, Held B, Yarbrough CL, White SN. Cutis 1994;54(2):121-124.
4. Elsaie ML, Baumann LS, Elsaaiee LT. Dermatologic Surgery 2009;35:563-573.
5. Rotsztejn H, Juchniewicz B, Nadolski M, Wendorff J, Kamer B. Advances in Medical Sciences 2010;55
6. Chang AL, Agredano YZ, Kimball AB. J Am Acad Dermatol 2004;51:881-885.
7. Lee KS, Rho YJ, Jang SI, Suh MH, Song JY. Clin Exp Dermatol 1994;19(4):285-288.
8. Malkova, S. New EU Magazine of Medicine (NEUMM) 2014;1-4.
9. Al-Himdani S et al. Br J Dermatol 2014; 170(3):527-547