Pregnancy Stretch Marks – The Tigress’ Pattern!

Stretch marks (SM) are the most common skin & connective tissue disruption condition that present in 90% of Caucasian women (less in Asian & Afro-Caribbean) and in 80% of men. Stretch marks appear as a result of over-stretching of the skin (as in pregnancy 90% or being overweight or part of ageing process) most commonly over buttocks/lower back, the abdomen, the thighs and around knees.

Pregnancy is the most common cause of stretch marks in women (striae Gravidarum) where 2 types can be identified; Striae rubra (red & early ones) and striae alba (white and chronic). There are other risk factors that intensify the degree of stretch marks in some individuals more than others; like familial predisposition, obesity, Cushing’s syndrome (endocrine), or genetic disorder of the connective tissue as in Marfan’s syndrome.

Being an Obstetrician & Gynaecologist, I constantly was touched how SM had negative impact on lowering self-esteem and in creating psychological barriers in the intimate relationship.

That is why I always say to such pregnant ladies “You are a tigress with a life time achievement when you go through pregnancy & labour that turn you into a proud mum. With pregnancy; come the stretch marks along with too, but you ought to think of them rather as your tigress pattern!! With your heads held high. However, if you want to put aside your earned stripes, there are plenty of measures for that during pregnancy & after delivery. For example, you could use anti stretch mark- vitamin E/Argon oil, Rosehip oil or vitamin A-analogue Tretinoin 0.1% based natural creams/emollients during pregnancy that help in reducing & halt their progression. After labour, there are a quite number of non-surgical measures to use to address the persistent stretch marks like PRP injections, Carboxy Therapy, Mesotherapy, Microneedling, Laser, Radiofrequency and chemical peels”.

A question remains; “how effective each procedure is?”

Logically, effectiveness will vary among the procedures and depend on the individual’s own variations. Undoubtedly, well -designed controlled studies are warranted as the next step to evaluate & compare the effectiveness & safety of each procedure & its worthiness to be part of the evidence-based practice & patients’ safety ©


1. Elton RF, Pinkus H. Striae in normal men. Arch Dermatol 1966; 94:33–4.

2. Cho S, Park ES, Lee DH et al. Clinical features and risk factors for striae distensae in Korean adolescents. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol 2006; 20: 1108–1113.

3. Osman H, Rubeiz N, Tamim H et al. Risk factors for the development of striae gravidarum. Am J Obstet Gynecol 2007; 196:62.e1–5.

4. García-Hidalgo L, Orozco-Topete R, Gonzalez-Barranco J et al. Dermatoses in 156 obese adults. Obes Res 1999; 7:299–302

5. Psychological impact of stretch marks and scarring revealed -Thursday 26 August 2010 – Nursing in Practice (Internet). 2010 (26 August).>

6. García Hernández JÁ etal, Use of a specific anti-stretch mark cream for preventing or reducing the severity of striae gravidarum. Randomized, double-blind, controlled trial. Int J Cosmet Sci. 2013 Jun;35(3):233-7. doi: 10.1111/ics.12029. Epub 2013 Jan. 15.

7. Moore J, MD Gary Kelsberg, MD Sarah Safranek, MLIS Do any topical agents help prevent or reduce stretch marks? J Fam Pract. 2012 December;61(12):757-758

8. Hexsel D et al. Superficial Dermabrasion Versus Topical Tretinoin on Early Striae Distensae: A Randomized, Pilot Study. 2014 May; 40 (5): 537-544.

9. Sanad EM, Aginaa HA, Sorour NE. Microneedling system alone versus microneedling system with trichloroacetic acid in the management of abdominal striae rubra: A clinical and histopathological study. J Egyptian Women’s Dermatol Soc 2015. (2):96-101.

10. Jeffrey et al. Evaluation of Safety and Patient Subjective Efficacy of Using Radiofrequency and Pulsed Magnetic Fields for the Treatment of Striae (Stretch Marks). J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 2014 Sept; 7(9):

Internal Links:

1-Urinary Incontinence, Non-Surgical Aesthetic Treatments

2- Why Aesthetic Gynaecology procedures are best performed by a Gynaecologist©

3- Can erectile dysfunction really be cured with soundwaves

©By Dr. Nadia Yousri, OB&GY, Sexual Wellness & Aesthetic Regenerative Gynaecology Consultant, FRCOG, 17/05/2019, Copyrights Reserved© to®

Published by Dr. Nadia Yousri, FRCOG, Aesthetic Regenerative Gynaecology Consultant©