Baby looking over mums shoulder

Stretch marks

Affecting 8 out of ten pregnant women, stretch marks are natural and harmless - a sign of your body making changes to welcome a new baby. But at Bepanthen we understand that some women find them unsightly and feel self-conscious about them. That’s why we’ve developed Bepanthen Stretch Mark Cream, to help hardworking mothers keep their inner confidence as they face the challenges and joys of family life.

What are stretch marks?

Woman with stretch marks on her stomach

Stretch marks are stripes that appear on the body during periods of sudden growth or hormonal change. The marks are purplish-red at first, turning white and pearly over time. In pregnant women, the most common areas for stretch marks are the belly, breasts, hips and thighs. While stretch marks are not dangerous, they can create itching or burning sensations, which can cause discomfort.

What causes stretch marks?

Stretch marks are most commonly caused by rapid stretching of the skin, which makes the dermis structure disorganised and breaks the collagen fibres, hence the crack-like appearance of stretch marks. Hormonal changes in pregnancy can further weaken the collagen.

Preventing stretch marks

Pregnant woman with moisturiser on her stomach

To help reduce the development of stretch marks, it’s advisable to keep your skin hydrated and supple, from as early as possible in your pregnancy.

Hydration starts from the inside, so during pregnancy you should be drinking around 10 cups of water a day, and around 13 cups a day when breastfeeding.

You can start preparing your skin as soon as you find out you’re pregnant by using Bepanthen Stretch Mark Cream, which helps keep the skin smooth, soft, hydrated and elastic.