One of the most popular questions patients ask is what can they use to minimise scars, or help with stretch marks during pregnancy. I caught up with Lynne from Stratpharma recently who is responsible for Stratamark, Strataderm, Stratacel and Stratamed, some of the most effective and popular scar creams on the market. We chatted about why their products work so well.
Trish: Well, hello listeners. I’m here today with the lovely Lynne, and Lynne is from Stratpharma, who produce an amazing array of products for scars, wounds, and other skin treatments, and more coming out as well. And today we’re actually in studio, which is really exciting. So I’ve got Lynne here with me live in the studio doing today’s podcast. Today we’re going to talk specifically about Stratamark, so Stratamark is the one for pregnancy, stretch marks, I guess for … That’s exactly what it is, actually. She’s got some great … There’s some new clinical studies that have just come out, so we’re going to have a bit of a chat about them today. So welcome, Lynne.
Lynne: Thanks, Trish.
Trish: Thank you so much for coming along today.
Lynne: It’s very nice to be here.
Trish: How much fun is it to be in studio?
Lynne: It’s really good to be face-to-face.
Trish: Yes. Well, tell us about the … First of all, tell us about Stratamark for the ladies and guys, not that guys get pregnant, but… guys still have stretch marks.
Lynne: Yeah, absolutely. Guys get stretch marks from their weightlifting, so yes, absolutely.
Trish: Yeah, right. Okay. So tell us about Stratamark and what it’s about first, before we go into clinical studies.
Lynne: Sure, so Stratamark’s a medical device, actually. It’s a medical product, it’s a gel in tube. It was developed to prevent and treat stretch marks. So it helps prevent them from occurring, but also treats any that are existing. It’s an over the counter product, so it’s easy for people to get hold of, and it’s the only product that you can use during pregnancy that … a topical product that is actually clinically proven to both prevent and treat stretch marks. There’s other products that do work with stretch marks, but you can’t use them during pregnancy. They’re not safe to use during pregnancy, whereas Stratamark is something that’s quite safe to use throughout the pregnancy.
Trish: Correct me if I’m wrong, because I know … My daughter’s just been pregnant, as you know, so I’m a grandma now. When she was pregnant, she was all paranoid about what she’d put on her body because she didn’t want it to go through the skin and into the bloodstream. But this doesn’t actually … That doesn’t happen with this, does it, because it’s-
Lynne: No. Yeah.
Trish: So tell us about that.
Lynne: Yeah. That’s right. That’s the first question we often get asked by pregnant moms, because as you said, they’re quite concerned about anything that might get absorbed. A lot of the oils and moisturisers have ingredients in it that you may not want to have absorbed into your tummy while you are pregnant. But Stratamark actually just forms a film over the top of the skin, so it’s actually like a second skin over the top. Doesn’t get absorbed at all, and that’s how it works, by being over the top of the skin and preventing stretch marks from occurring. So quite safe to use.
Trish: Okay. So how does it … functionally, how does it work? Just by the fact that you’ve got this layer on the skin that’s like a … not a barrier, but a silicon? Is it like a silicon?
Lynne: Yes. It’s a silicon. So it does work like a barrier, and that’s exactly how it does work. So it helps to prevent the body from laying down excess collagen into the gaps that form when you stretch your skin when you are pregnant, and normalises the collagen cycle so that you could just produce normal amounts of collagen, and not excess amounts of collagen that cause stretch marks.
Trish: Okay. First of all, how do you use it? Do you use it every morning, every night? What’s the instructions use?
Lynne: Yeah. Instructions are once a day. It’s quite easy to use. Usually after you shower, and you put a thin layer over the top of your tummy, you put it down your thighs, and on your breasts as well, if you’re pregnant, because they’re prime areas for ladies to get stretch marks while they are pregnant.
Trish: So tummies, thighs, and boobs.
Lynne: And boobs as well.
Lynne: Yeah, absolutely. You do that once a day. You put a small amount so that it dries to form a thin film, you wait five to six minutes for it to dry, and then get dressed, and then if you do have a shower again, if you’re someone who has a second shower during the day or go to the gym or whatever and you’re having a second shower, then you would reapply it after that second shower. Soapy water will remove it, otherwise it will stay there for 24 hours. So it’s just once a day.
Trish: Okay. If you’re a once a day shower person, just put it on that once a day, it’s going to last for 24 hours. But if you do have that second shower, you want to apply it twice because you’re going to wash it off when you have that second shower.
Lynne: Yeah, correct.
Trish: All right, all right, awesome. The other thing I was going to ask is, so how much do you put on? I know that the instructions say a really thin layer and it goes a long way, but realistically, what the size of the … Can you give us, like the size of a pea or something to …
Lynne: Yeah, absolutely. It depends how pregnant you are, because obviously your tummy gets bigger as your baby gets bigger, and will stretch. So you’ve got more skin that you’re applying it to. In the late stages of pregnancy, around about a 10 cent piece size on the palm of your hand will cover your tummy, and you will have enough on your hands to actually run it down your thighs as well, and put a layer on your breasts as well with that 10 cent piece size.
So normally, if you put that 10 cent piece size on your hand, dab it into the areas that you want to actually apply it to, and then spread it into a thin layer so that it can dry.
Trish: Okay, okay. That makes sense actually to do it like that, because it would go a little bit further as well. You were just saying about when they’re doing weights, they get stretch marks on their arms.
Lynne: Yeah, correct. So again, they can use Stratamark to help prevent those stretch marks. So if you know you’re going to get into weightlifting and bodybuilding, and you’re concerned about whether you’re going to get stretch marks or not, again, you would just apply it once a day, or after … If you’re someone, again, who you’re working out and the guys who might be showering more often, soap will wash it off. You just apply it in a thin film. You can’t actually see it, so it’s not something that the guys are going to have to be embarrassed about that can be seen and visible. It just dries to form a thin film over the top of the skin and prevent those stretch marks from occurring. So it doesn’t matter how the stretch marks … what the reason for the stretch marks are, whether they are from pregnancy, or puberty, or weight gain and loss, or bodybuilding. Doesn’t matter what the cause of the stretch marks is, Stratamark will actually work on them.
Trish: Okay. Well, when I told my daughter about it, she was a little bit surreal, like how can you stop … because you read all this stuff about stretch marks, and she was trying … She was making her own butter and all that sort of stuff, and nothing actually worked, but can you tell us a little bit about the clinical studies, because you’ve actually got stats that are actually proof. We actually did our own little … When we first were introduced to Stratamark, we did our own little in-house thing where we sent out … I think there were six or eight pregnant women … Oh, they were women with stretch marks, that’s right. They did a little in-house thing, and we were really astounded by the results, but now this has actually clinically been proved. Can you tell us a little bit about that?
Lynne: Yeah, absolutely. We had a clinical trial already, that clinical trial was done in Europe. That showed that our Stratamark did prevent and treat stretch marks. To back that up, we’ve now got a clinical trial that was done here in Australia at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital in Adelaide by Doctor Chris Hughes, who’s a leading obstetrician over in Adelaide. In this trial there were 272 ladies that were entered into the trial. Half of those were pregnant and had no stretch marks, and they started to use Stratamark at week 26. Half of them had already delivered their babies. They started to use Stratamark after they delivered their babies when they had stretch marks at that point. What the clinical trial showed was that when … The ladies in the community that use moisturisers and oils and things like that, the prevalence of stretch marks in that group is around 60 to 70%. So six to seven out of ten ladies will get stretch marks using all those normal things that we do, which are the moisturisers and the oils.
With Stratamark, in the clinical trial that was done in Adelaide, less than three out of ten ladies got stretch marks using Stratamark.
Trish: Wow. So that’s less than-
Lynne: Less than half.
Trish: You’re cutting your percentage down by half.
Lynne: Correct, yes.
Trish: I have seen those women that don’t get any stretch marks.
Lynne: Yeah, lucky.
Trish: I know. Then you got those women know me that it’s just stretch marks are part of my life.
Lynne: Yeah, and there is a hereditary component. One of the … It’s not always hereditary, but there is a component that if your mum got them, then you’ve got a higher chance of getting them as well.
Trish: Okay. Basically by using it … I know that you suggest that you start at 26 weeks, is that right?
Lynne: Well, in this particular trial the ladies started at 26 weeks. In the previous trial they started at 13 weeks. The instructions actually say “start at 13 weeks or at the first sign of a stretch mark.”
Lynne: So then you’ve waited and you know that, “I am going to get stretch marks. This is the first sign one.” You start using it from that point onwards.
Trish: Okay. Oh, that’s good. So you’ve got a bit of a … You might think, “Oh as soon as I get my first stretch mark,” then start using it, because you know that if you get one, you’re going to get more.
Lynne: Exactly, yes.
Trish: That’s true. Or it’s going to get bigger, or whatever, so since that first sign.
Lynne: Yeah, absolutely.
Trish: Which is usually around about … month five, from what I can gather.
Lynne: Yeah, that’s common, the common time. The other thing is, a lot of ladies get almost all the way through their pregnancy, and then the stretch marks happen in those last few weeks of the pregnancy, or even pop out in the couple of weeks after delivery. The good news is that Stratamark actually helps to reduce those stretch marks even though they have occurred at that point. So the clinical trial that was done in Adelaide also showed that ladies that had stretch marks that were more than a year old, it improved them by 20%. And they were quite old stretch marks, so quite hard to treat. Then the ladies that had stretch marks that were not quite that old, they saw half, a 50% improvement in colour of their stretch marks. It’s non-invasive, it’s really safe to use, and compared to the more invasive treatments to treat stretch marks later on, it’s quite inexpensive.
Trish: Yeah, totally. From that I can gather, the biggest hassle is actually putting it on and waiting that five minutes for it to dry. Because that’s really important, because otherwise it goes on your clothes, you can rub it off, and …
Lynne: Yeah, so I always suggest to ladies, keep it beside your toothbrush. Pop it on before your brush your teeth, and then brush your teeth, do your face, and do your hair, and by the time you’ve done all of that, it’s perfectly dry-
Trish: An hour?
Lynne: Yeah. Depends, but yeah. Then it’s all dry and ready for you to get dressed.
Trish: Awesome. I know that it’s available … Wasn’t available in many places when I first heard about it, but now it’s available in a lot of places. We do sell it on our website, but where else can you get it?
Lynne: Yes, absolutely, your website. You can also get it at our website, so Stratamark.com has the product available as well. But then there’s a lot of pharmacies that have it as well. It’s a case of it’s not one particular chain, it’s a case of trying to find the pharmacy that has it. But you can actually phone us at Stratpharma and we’ll let you know which pharmacies will have it available for you.
Trish: Oh, perfect. All right, what’s your number?
Lynne: 1-800-00 … Oh, I’ve forgotten it.
Trish: Okay, well that’s all right. Look it up, Stratamark.com.au.
Trish: All right awesome. Sorry, I wanted to ask one more question. Say for example if you haven’t used it when you’re pregnant, and you think, “Oh my god, I really need to start using this now.” Is there a timeframe that you reckon you will actually start to notice a difference? If you start using it today, will you notice a difference in a month, or in two months, or three months, or does it just get better? When do you stop using it?
Lynne: Yeah. Good question. It’s a bit like treating scars. Stretch marks are a lot like scars. So you will not see an immediate result. You need to use the product for at least two months, so at least 60 days. By then you will have seen an improvement in your stretch marks. But continue to use it until at least 90 days, or until you see no more improvement in your stretch marks.
Trish: Okay. I think it’s like anything, what I do myself is I’ll go and have at treatment or buy a cream or whatever, and I’ll use it and I’ll be, “Oh yeah, that feels nice.” And then two months later I’ll be like, “Oh, it didn’t do anything.” Then I’ll take a photo and look at my other photo and look at my other photo and think, “Oh my god, there’s such a difference.” So I reckon for anyone who wants to use it, take a photo. Take it when you start, take it a month later, take it two months later, take it three months later, and that’s when you actually really see the difference that it does.
Lynne: See the difference, yeah. Yeah, when you’re looking at it every day, you don’t notice how much it’s changed. But when you do that, take the photos, then you will actually see that there’s been a change.
Trish: Yeah, that happens to me all the time, so I can’t recommend that enough to anyone. It’s such a good idea.
Lynne: Yeah, great idea. Awesome. Awesome.
Trish: Well, thank you so much. Any other stats that you’ve got to share with us, or that’s …?
Lynne: That’s pretty much it. Yeah. Absolutely.
Trish: All right. 272 women…
Lynne: In Adelaide all went into the trial.
Trish: Yeah. That’s a pretty good number of people to get a pretty good stat from. So that’s pretty … got a nice broad spectrum. So the ladies … You had women that were 26 weeks pregnant, and then women who’d just had the babies, and then women who’d had stretch marks more than a year.
Lynne: They were in amongst the group that had already had their babies. So we had women that were 26 weeks pregnant and had no stretch marks. Then they started to use the product and then never developed. So less than 30% of them developed stretch marks.
Lynne: Then we had the other half of the ladies who had already delivered their babies. Some of those ladies, it was their second baby, so they had had stretch marks previously. They saw an improvement in their stretch marks using Stratamark.
Trish: That’s so interesting. So good. Thank you so much for that.
Trish: I really enjoyed that.
Lynne: That was fun.
Trish: Listeners, if you … I might even start to try this on my old stretch marks, or do some weightlifting, see if I can get some new stretch marks. All right, look, if you’re after some Stratamark, I can’t recommend it enough. I love it, I love all the Strata products, actually. We’ll talk about some more of the scarring ones afterwards, but if you do want to find a stockist, you can just go on the website, Stratamark.com.au, or otherwise just drop us an email to email@example.com. Thanks, Lynne.
Lynne: Thanks Trish.
Trish: Alright, have a good one. Bye.