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Psychological impact of stretch marks and scarring revealed

New research has shown an astounding one in two women suffer ongoing psychological issues due to stretch marks and scarring, while just a quarter felt satisfied with the advice given to them on the topic by healthcare professionals. 

These findings were echoed along with frustration by a focus group of midwives and practice nurses who stated concern at the lack of official best practice guidance for treatment of stretch marks and scarring.

According to the research carried out with 100 women suffering stretch marks and scars by skin specialist Bio-Oil®, half said they have negative self-confidence as a result. 

Furthermore, almost half said stretch marks and scars affected the way they dressed, with over a fifth trying to hide them from their partners for years afterwards. Despite over a quarter (26%) saying they were very worried about stretch marks during their pregnancy; the majority (66%) were given no advice by any healthcare professional.

The focus group highlighted that although scarring and stretch marks are not considered a medical priority, midwives and practice nurses recognise they can have a psychological impact which sometimes affects pregnancy and even a mother's bond with their baby.

Frustration about the level of advice they can currently give led to an urge for the priority to be raised in primary care for treatment guidance for skin conditions during and after pregnancy and following scarring to allow better advice to be given to patients. 

Midwife Hannah Thornton comments: "The portrayal of flawless models and celebrities in the popular media has unfortunately led to mounting pressures on young women and mums to have the 'perfect' body.

"Midwives are seeing this pressure lead to many young women and mums developing body anxiety about stretch marks, which can affect not just how they view themselves, but also their pregnancy and relationship with their new baby. It is therefore important health professionals are provided with treatment guidance for skin conditions so we can in turn offer some form of advice to patients."

Bio-Oil® is a specialist skincare product which has been clinically shown to help improve the appearance of scars, stretch marks and uneven skin tone. Its unique formulation, which contains the breakthrough ingredient PurCellin Oil™, helps increase skin elasticity thereby helping to reduce the impact of scars and striae (stretch marks)  for patients.

"This research highlights the long-term impact that scars and stretch marks can have and that women expect their healthcare professional to offer advice about how to help prevent and reduce their appearance", commented Julie Lardieg, Bio-Oil® spokesperson.