Frequently Asked Questions
We are happy to answer all of your questions you have about Stratamark. Many questions are already covered in this FAQ collection. If you can not find the answer to your specific question, please feel free to contact our customer service.
General information about stretch marks
What are Striae Distensae?
Striae Distensae are the generic term for stretch marks and are well recognized skin changes. There are three different types of stretch marks: Striae Rubrae (new stretch marks), Striae Albae (old stretch marks), and Striae Gravidarum (stretch marks that occur during pregnancy) and they may appear everywhere on the body except the face. They usually occur in the stretching areas (breast, abdomen, thighs, hips, arms, back, etc.).
What are Striae Rubrae?
Striae Rubrae describe early red scarring and appear as slightly raised pink to purple linear bands. Sometimes Striae Rubrae are called “new stretch marks”.
What are Striae Albae?
Striae Albae describe stretch marks as they become mature, whiter and depressed. Sometimes Striae Albae are called “old stretch marks”.
What are Striae Gravidarum?
Striae Gravidarum describes stretch marks that occur due to pregnancy. During pregnancy, Striae Gravidarum 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.
What are stretch marks? Are stretch marks a special skin condition?
If you look at the microscopic structure of tissues, stretch marks are a form of atrophic scarring, in which the dermal collagen ruptures and separates; the intervening gap is filled with newly synthesized collagen, which then becomes aligned in response to local stress forces. The development of stretch marks has been linked to wound healing and abnormal scar formation.
Are stretch marks detrimental to health?
Although they are not detrimental to health, they can cause physical symptoms such as itchiness, tenderness and pain. Because of their visual appearance, they can also significantly affect one`s self-esteem and image.
What are the causes of stetch marks?
- Hormonal changes:
Stretch marks are developed in times of increased glucocorticoid production such as during puberty, pregnancy, with Cushing’s syndrome or with external steroid use1,2. High steroid hormone levels have a catabolic effect on the activity of fibroblasts and decrease the deposition of collagen in the ground substance of the dermal matrix. Clinical publications confirm that hormonal changes are one of the main reasons for stretch marks development.
This theory was posted after a relationship was found between stretch marks and increased vaginal lacerations at birth. An extracellular matrix defect may also explain why overstretched tissue leads to ruptured collagen fibers and hence stretch marks in some individuals who experience rapid weight change such as pregnancy or Cushing’s syndrome3,4.
Leading to the rupture of the connective tissue framework during pregnancy, rapid increase in size of particular regions of the body during adolescence, obesity and rapid increase or decrease in weight5.
1. Osman H et al. BJOG 2008; 115:1138-1142 2. McDaniel DH .Laser Therapy of stretch marks. Dermatologic Clinics 2002; 20(1):67–76 3. Chang AL et al. Acad Dermatol 2004; 51:881-885 4. Linda Garcia Hildalgo. Dermatological Complications of Obesity. AMJ Clin Dermatol 2002; 3(7):497-506 5. Elsaie ML et al. Dermatologic Surgery 2009; 35:563-573
Is there a correlation between stretch marks and the level of skin stretching during pregnancy?
According to a study done by Chang et al. (2004), the strength of a skin’s strain is not the primary cause of stretch marks. Studies found that there is no correlation between stretch marks development and weight gain per week. There is also no correlation between the greater percentage increase of abdominal/hip girth during pregnancy and a greater number of stretch marks.
Chang AL et al. Acad Dermatol 2004; 51:881-885
What is Stratamark?
Stratamark is the only clinically proven topical medical device for both the prevention and treatment of stretch marks. It allows the skin to normalize the collagen synthesis cycle and hydrates and protects the skin. Stratamark is a unique gel formulation, specifically designed for the prevention and treatment of all types of stretch marks resulting from pregnancy, growth spurts, weight gain/loss and body building. It softens and flattens stretch marks, reduces redness and discolouration associated with stretch marks, and it relieves the itching and discomfort of stretch marks.
What type of stretch marks can Stratamark treat?
Stratamark was developed for the treatment and prevention of all types of stretch marks resulting from pregnancy (Striae Gravidarum), adolescent growth spurts, weight gain/loss and bodybuilding. Stratamark can be used for both old (Striae Albae) and new (Striae Rubrae) stretch marks.
How does Stratamark work?
Stratamark provides complex triple action including hydration, protection, and modulation.
Stratamark is semi-occlusive and gas permeable, which allows the skin to breathe and remain hydrated. However, it is also hydrophobic, which prevents water from being lost in the dermal layers of the skin. It helps in decreasing the transepithelial water loss and therefore increases stretch mark hydration.
Stratamark forms a durable, flexible and waterproof sheet. It does not penetrate below the level of stratum corneum (top layer of the skin). Stratamark protects the stretch mark from local irritants including friction from clothing. This assists in normalizing the level of collagen production.
Stratamark influences on the epidermal-dermal signaling cascade via a regulation role of the epidermis on fibroblast production. Keratinocytes have shown to activate the fibroblasts, hence collagen and glycosaminoglycan production. This leads to the normalizing of the keratinocyte hydration status and the normalizing of tissue growth factors, which signals dermal fibroblasts to normalize the collagen synthesis cycle of stretch marks.
Can Stratamark be used while breastfeeding and/or pregnancy? What about on children?
Yes, Stratamark does not penetrate below the level of stratum corneum (top layer of skin). It is not absorbed, so it will not produce systemic side effects, and it is unlikely to produce local side effects. It is suitable to be used while pregnant and breastfeeding. It is also suitable for children. There have been no side effects observed with the proper use of Stratamark gel. Stratamark is transparent and odourless. It does not contain alcohol, fragrances or parabens.
What if I have sensitive skin?
Stratamark is suitable for people with sensitive skin. Stratamark gel is completely compatible with human biology. It is not absorbed, so it will not produce systemic side effects, and it is unlikely to produce local side effects.
What if I or a child accidentally swallows Stratamark?
Stratamark will not be absorbed in the gastrointestinal tract due to the high molecular weight, and it will be excreted without modification.
Is Stratamark a cosmetic or moisturizer?
Stratamark is registered as a Class I device. Unlike cosmetics and moisturizers, Stratamark is a medical product with a therapeutic action for both the prevention and treatment of stretch marks. Stratamark is the only topical product with clinical proven efficacy. Stratamark is highly efficient, it requires less product per application that typical moisturizing creams or cosmetic preparations.
Why is Stratamark better than other stretch mark creams, gels, oils, etc.?
Stratamark is the only formula for the prevention and treatment of stretch marks with clinical proven efficacy. Stratamark is a medical product with a therapeutic action for the prevention and treatment of stretch marks. It is the only topical product for both the prevention and treatment of stretch marks with clinically proven evidence.
Clinical study results for prevention
During the Malkova study, out of 303 patients, 148 participating patients had no pre-existing stretch marks prior to the study. The reported prevalence of stretch marks ranges between 50–90%, with most control groups showing between 60% and 70% during pregnancy, depending on the population studied2. 81% of patients who used Stratamark as a monotherapy did not develop stretch marks1. The prevention of stretch marks development with Stratamark use was neither influenced by the gestational age at starting gestational age of application (p = 0.77) nor by the gestational age at delivery (p = 0.94), nor the delivery method (p = 0.76), nor the location of the investigation (p = 0.5). Of the 18.2% who developed stretch marks using Stratamark, they developed mild stretch marks (52%), mild-moderate stretch marks (33%), moderate stretch marks (11%), and moderate-severe stretch marks (4%). No severe cases were reported.
1. Malkova S. New EU Magazine of Medicine, July 2014, 1-4/2014 2. Osman H et al. BJOG 2008; 115:1138-1142
Clinical study results for treatment
155 women who participated in the treatment arm had stretch marks prior to this study. A 47% reduction in severity of the stretch marks was reported (p< 0.0001). The authors also reported an 88% improvement in colour, an 86% reduction in visibility and an 83% reduction in itching, respectively. Significant improvement was observed during the treatment of old and severe stretch marks.
1. Malkova S. New EU Magazine of Medicine, July 2014, 1-4/2014
How do I apply Stratamark?
Ensure that the skin is clean and dry. Apply a very thin layer of Stratamark to the relevant areas with your fingertips and distribute evenly to form a very thin layer and allow the gel to dry. Stratamark should be applied once per day, or after each wash. For best results, Stratamark should be maintained in continuous contact with the skin (24 hours a day/ 7 days a week). Once dry, Stratamark can be covered by undergarments, sunscreens or cosmetics.
How long does it take for Stratamark to dry?
When applied correctly, Stratamark should be dry in 5-6 minutes. If it takes longer to dry you have probably applied too much. Gently remove any excess gel with a tissue or paper towel and allow the drying process to continue. Stratamark may stain clothing if not completely dry. If staining occurs, dry cleaning should be able to remove it without any damaging of the fabric.
Will applying more/a larger amount give me better results?
Applying more Stratamark than is necessary will not give you better results. Stratamark does not penetrate below the level of stratum corneum (top layer of the skin), so applying extra gel does not enhance results.
Will Stratamark stain my clothes?
Stratamark will not stain your clothes if you apply a little amount and wait the drying time (5-6 minutes). Once dry, Stratamark can be covered by undergarments, sunscreens or cosmetics. If you apply too much it will most likely not dry and can remain sticky on your skin and stain clothing. . If staining occurs, dry cleaning should be able to remove it without any damaging of the fabric.
How long should I use Stratamark for stetch marks prevention and treatment?
Stratamark is recommended for use from the beginning of the second trimester (13 weeks) or at the first sign of stretch marks. Treatment should be continued following birth for a minimum of 60 to 90 days or until no further improvement is seen.
How long should I use Stratamark for stetch marks treatment?
Stratamark should be used for at least 60 to 90 days (24 hours a day, 7 days a week). Continued use is recommended until no further improvement is seen. Severe and older stretch marks may need longer treatment.
How much Stratamark do I need?
One 20g tube contains enough gel for approximately one month treatment for women in the late stages of pregnancy. One 50g tube contains enough gel for approximately two months treatment for women in the late stages of pregnancy. In the beginning of pregnancy, one tube of Stratamark will last longer due to a smaller area of application. If Stratamark is used from the 13th week of pregnancy throughout the entire period of pregnancy and 60-90 days post-partum, then approximately 3 tubes of Stratamark 50g will be required for the full period of treatment including 60-90 days post-partum, when used on breasts, thighs, and abdomen.
Where do I apply Stratamark? Are there restrictions?
Stratamark is meant to be used on all areas where stretch marks are or can appear, mainly on the buttocks, abdomen, thighs, breasts, and back. It may be used on other areas of the body with stretch marks. Stratamark should not be applied on open wounds or compromised skin. Stratamark should not be placed in contact with mucous membranes or the eyes.
Do I need to wash my skin with soap and water before I apply the gel?
No, but make sure the skin area is clean and dry before application.
Does Stratamark have an odour?
Stratamark is odourless. It does not contain alcohol, fragrances, or parabens and is therefore suitable for pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers, children and people with sensitive skin.
Will Stratamark still work if I forgot to use it one day?
Just continue using the gel and remember to keep applying it daily and maintain it in continuous contact with your skin (24 hours a day/7 days a week). If you do not use Stratamark daily, the efficacy may be reduced and you may not have the best possible results.
What are the side effects of Stratamark?
There have been no side effects observed with the proper use of Stratamark gel. It is not absorbed, so it will not produce systemic side effects, and it is unlikely to produce local side effects.
What if my stretch marks are very old? Will Stratamark still work?
If stretch marks are old, Stratamark will soften and flatten your stretch marks. Apply Stratamark until no further improvement is seen. In cases of old stretch marks, treatment may take longer.
Will my sunscreen still work if I apply sunscreen over the Stratamark?
Yes, your sunscreen will still protect your skin against the sun. Make sure Stratamark is the first contact with your skin and apply the sunscreen after Stratamark is dry.
Stratamark as Combination Therapy
Can Stratamark be used in combination with invasive stretch mark therapies?
Yes, but only in combination with non-ablative procedures to improve the overall result of stretch marks treatment. When used in combination with non-ablative devices, Stratamark protects the skin, hydrates stretch marks through decreasing of transepithelial water loss and normalizes the collagen synthesis cycle though normalizing the tissue growth factors. This complex action leads to improving the overall results of stretch marks treatment with invasive procedures.
Can Stratamark be used in combination with ablative therapies?
No. Stratamark is not meant to be used on open wounds or compromised skin. Stratpharma Switzerland has another medical product, Stratamed, which is specifically designed to be used on compromised skin.
Questions About Stratamark
What temperature do I keep Stratamark at?
Store below 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit). Do not use after the expiration date. The expiration date is printed on both the tube and box.
Do you test your products on animals?
No, we do NOT test our products on animals.
Where can I buy Stratamark?
If I did not find the answer to my question, who should I contact?
Please submit your enquiry using our contacts page.