Cocoa Butter No Help for Stretch Marks During Pregnancy
Applying cocoa butter lotion during pregnancy does not help prevent the stretch marks that many women develop, according to a new study.
Stretch marks, or striae gravidarum as doctors refer to them, typically occur on the abdomen and breasts, but can also appear on the hips, thighs, and buttocks. The cause of the problem is unknown, but many women believe that rubbing cocoa butter on the skin can help prevent the marks.
Although scientific evidence supporting the use of cocoa butter is lacking, many physicians and midwives continue to recommend it.
In the present study, Dr. A. H Nassar and colleagues sought to settle this issue by examining the stretch marks that arose in 210 pregnant women who were randomly assigned to apply cocoa butter or inactive "placebo" to their abdomen, breasts, and thighs once daily starting during the first trimester of pregnancy.
Eighty-three percent of women completed the study, Nassar, from the American University of Beirut Medical Center in Lebanon and colleagues note.
Overall, 45 percent of cocoa butter-treated women developed stretch marks compared with 49 percent of women given placebo lotion. Although the percentage is slightly lower in the cocoa butter group, from a statistical standpoint, the difference was not considered significant, meaning that it may have simply arisen by chance.
There was also no difference between the groups in the severity of their stretch marks.
"Our findings do not support the use of cocoa butter lotion for the prevention of striae gravidarum," Nassar and colleagues conclude. Further studies, they say, are needed to confirm their findings in other populations and to evaluate the effectiveness of other commonly used products in preventing stretch marks.
About stretch marks :
Stretch marks are scars left behind when skin is overstretched, and fibers in the middle layer (dermis) have broken. They most often occur during pregnancy, bodybuilding, extreme weight gain, occasionally puberty and are usually found on the abdomen, breasts, buttocks, legs, and upper arms. Fresh stretch marks appear initially as red lines and then slowly fade to a pale white color over the course of several months. While it is possible to reduce and even eliminate the appearance of stretch marks, it is much easier to prevent them.
The bad news is stretch marks are permanent and very rarely disappear. The good news is that stretch marks usually become considerably less noticeable over time (naturally), eventually becoming a few shades lighter than your natural skin tone.
About cocoa butter lotion:
Cocoa butter is one of the primary ingredients in Barmon Stretch Mark Cream. Barmons is an all natural stretch mark solution that has been in existence for over 25 years. Cocoa butter is one of the most stable fats known and has a storage life of two to five years, making it a good choice for a skin conditioner.
Many people have recommended cocoa butter for years as an effective home remedy at a very affordable price for most people. Using coca butter for stretch marks has its roots in the belief that the richness of the cream, or butter, has healing properties. It is believed that the butter softens the skin and encourages the skin tissue to repair itself.
Unfortunately, there are not many large scale clinical studies that have been conducted to determine the causes of and effective treatments for stretch marks. Some people say that applying stretch mark creams, or cocoa butter during pregnancy can prevent stretch marks. A few doctors say that it is mostly a genetic issue, and not much can be done to prevent this problem.