How effective are topical preparations in preventing stretch marks in pregnancy?
All trials were relatively small, with four of the six trials each including less than 100 women. The trials were also different in terms of when the women first started to use the topical applications, ranging from the first trimester to the first 20 weeks. Parity of the women participating in the included trials also differed.
Stretch marks (striae gravidarum) occur in 50% to 90% of pregnant women. They appear as red or purple lines or streaks that fade slowly to leave pale lines or marks on the skin. The abdomen, breasts and thighs are commonly affected. They are a source of concern for some women, and can impact on their quality of life.