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Liforma Stretch Mark Prevention System
Prepared by: Mr Steve Barker MB BS BSc MS FRCS, Medical Director, Liforma Limited
There are approximately 800,000 live births annually in the UK. Stretch marks (striae) will affect a significant number of
pregnant women (published data suggests incidences between 50% and 90%) and the marks will last for the rest of the
woman’s lifetime. No current therapeutic option offers a complete treatment, but with stretch marks, prevention is far
better than cure. Whilst all women do not get them, it seems entirely unpredictable as to who will, and who will not.
Principally, stretch marks will affect the front and sides of the pregnant abdomen, where mechanical stretching could be considered as the obvious cause of their formation. However, other areas of the pregnant body are frequently involved
inclusive of the breasts and thighs and furthermore, other groups can develop stretch marks and in particular, young
adolescents going through a ‘growth spurt’ phase, or those who experience rapid weight change.
“No woman wants to get stretch marks”
“We want to look as good after pregnancy as before”
“Can we get anything to really help prevent stretch marks?”
‘Stretch marks’ are most probably caused when the principal component parts of the skin (collagen and elastin) become
stressed, stretched and weakened, leading to the irregular and often uncomfortable more vertical lines of reddened then
whitened, thinned tissue coursing in particular, down the sides and front of the abdomen. Stretch marks in essence, are
incomplete wounds in the skin, with the early redness part of an inflammatory response. The exact cause of stretch mark
Current Treatment Claims
Many products are available, but the potential efficacy of them including many of the most noted brands, has never been
subjected to any full clinical investigation or assessment.
To help dispel myth, the ‘Cochrane Collaboration’ as one of the most respected, independent scientific organizations
examining topics of widespread interest, in 2010 published on “Creams for preventing stretch marks in pregnancy”. In
summary, of all compounds said to have an effect to help prevent stretch marks, only those principally containing the
following had any basis in fact through formal clinical trials;
Centella asiatica Alpha tocopherol (Vitamin E)
Several other treatment modalities have been assessed for striae ‘removal’, but in reality, these treatments will at best ‘mask’ stretch marks only and include; various laser therapies, intense pulsed light therapies, microdermabrasion and
other forms of skin peel, and excisional surgery or “tummy tuck” procedures costing upwards of £5,000 - £8,000 in the
private health sector, which will remove stretch marks, but leave a wide abdominal scar.
“There is no evidence that any treatment removes striae once they have formed”
“Expectations for current treatments, must be realistic”
“Prevention is far better than cure”
A New Theory on the Prevention of Stretch Marks
It is not clear as to why stretch marks form in the way they are seen to do, but a new theory is now proposed;
“that a stress focus builds in the skin at a specific point (in a pregnant woman for example, due to
outward forces exerted from the growing child within), that becomes akin to a stress fracture in a piece of metal, whereby the once strong beam suddenly gives way and breaks – the skin ‘breaks’, but
because of its’ living nature, only partly tears, giving rise to an irregular, red, warm, typically itchy
stretch mark that propagates vertically downwards (against the pattern of Langer’s lines)”
Stresses, or more correctly strains, in the living skin should under ‘normal’ circumstances, tend to follow Langer’s lines, as
that is how the structural component parts of the skin are aligned. The new theory suggests that prevention of a stress focus forming in the skin and an interruption to any straight line (or ‘vector’ in mathematical terms) along which that
weakness might propagate, might be the best way possible to stop stretch marks developing in the first place.
In the lower abdomen, Langer’s lines are arranged in a more horizontal pattern. Stretch marks form in a vertical fashion.
It has been known for some considerable time that human skin is laid down in a quite predictable pattern:
Langer's lines (first described in 1861 by anatomist Karl Langer -1819-1887), sometimes called cleavage lines, are topological lines drawn on a map of the human body. Technically, they are defined by the direction in which the skin of a
human cadaver will split when struck with a spike. They correspond to the natural orientation of collagen fibers in the
A systematic approach to the prevention of stretch mark formation should therefore, include a ‘mechanical’ component to
help alleviate a stress focus developing in the skin during pregnancy and a means to prevent propagation of a new
stretch mark if one does form, and a ‘chemical’ component to keep the skin soft and supple (well hydrated) and to
maintain and repair the structural proteins of the skin in the best possible way.
The Liforma System
The Liforma product represents the World’s first complete stretch mark prevention system, developed with a full
understanding of the need for both mechanical support and provision of structural skin care.
The ‘physical component’
is a novel technology devised to help prevent any stress focus forming within
the skin in the first instance and so, mechanically aid in the prevention of stretch marks.
in addition, helps prevent a stretch mark from propagating down along a
straight line path of least resistance in the skin.
Vector Alignment™ is achieved through the development of Liforma’s maternity Stretch Mark Support; a supporting band
that gently but firmly lifts the increasingly pregnant abdomen, on to which are sited soft, compliant, yet skin gripping
pads, that help equalize those expansive forces generated in the mother’s abdominal skin by the developing baby within,
across the entirety of the abdomen. The Vector Alignment™ pads are arranged specifically, in a random pattern, such
that no straight line propagation of an incipient stretch mark can occur.
The Liforma maternity support is designed for use from weeks 12 – 14 of pregnancy (from the end of the first ‘trimester’),
before any stretch marks appear. It is for use from getting up in the morning, until going to bed. With lying in bed at
night, the forces on the abdominal wall generated by the developing baby within are lessened dramatically, under gravity.
For those pregnant women who may have developed some stretch marks in earlier pregnancies, use of the Liforma
system might significantly help prevent any more stretch marks from appearing.
The ‘chemical component’
“Liforma Stretch Mark Day Gel is an entirely new and patented formulation that for the first time
combines those very few, safe ingredients, scientifically proven to have an effect in helping prevent
stretch marks, with a high quality, intense moisturizer to keep the skin soft and supple, and with an
ability to work synergistically with Liforma’s Vector Alignment™ technology, to help support and grip the skin.”
Liforma day gel importantly contains Centella asiatica, Vitamin E and Vitamin B the first time all trialed products known to
help prevent stretch marks have been brought together in one gel. [Vitamin A derivatives have been purposely excluded
as there is some evidence for this compound causing some damage to the developing foetus.] It contains also, a number
of compounds thought more anecdotally, and through long term safe, widespread use, to help prevent stretch marks such as coconut oil and chamomile, formulated into a base moisturizer considered to be one of the very best available.
Liforma day gel is designed specifically and counter-intuitively, to leave behind a slightly tacky residue on the skin
surface, whilst using the best possible humectants to allow the key ingredients to penetrate deep down in to the skin
layers to ‘chemically’ help prevent stretch marks. The slightly tacky residue aids the grip of the vector alignment pads on
to the skin surface, improving the support device’s ability to equalize those expansive strain forces generated across the entirety of the mother’s abdomen.
Liforma Stretch Mark Night Cream contains the same key ingredients as used in the Liforma day gel and is, in its own
right, an exceptionally high quality, effective skin moisturizer. It is designed for use following removal of the Liforma
maternity support, in the evening (and after a bath or shower) and at bed time. The night cream will leave the skin as soft and supple as possible, whilst allowing those compounds known to help prevent stretch marks, penetrate deep down
in to the skin, but not leave any residue.
“Use of the Liforma Stretch Mark Support, together with the Liforma Stretch Mark Day Gel and Night
Cream provides the best possible means yet known to help prevent stretch marks in pregnancy.
This focused and systematic approach to stretch mark prevention is a World’s first, based on a new theory of stretch mark development.”
Liforma Support Garment Background Studies
The Liforma Stretch Mark Support
Prior to commercial production of the Liforma maternity support garment, the theory of Vector Alignment™ pads was put
to experimental test, to asses if the garment would alter the vector pattern of forces and distortions seen on an
underlying structure mimicking the pregnant abdomen – a football bladder was used for the tests.
Unit of Expansion
The progressive ‘stretching’ (percentage strain) in each plane (one point for each pump stroke) is plotted on the graph as two dotted lines – parallel and perpendicular. Note that both dotted lines increase linearly with each stroke with almost
identical values. This identity means that expansion was almost perfectly symmetric (isometric), as expected for a
The upper (blue) solid line shows the extension when the garment is tightly wrapped around the ball. This strain plot
coincides with expansion of the ball only. However, the solid red line (lower: plot of expansion parallel to the ball axis)
deviates significantly from that expected. This means that the garment had altered the symmetry of football bladder expansion, causing less deformation (over a wide strain range) in the parallel plane than in the perpendicular plane. This
is consistent with the proposition that the garment will substantially change and disrupt the pattern of strain direction in
adjacent tissue (skin). In this case, it reduced the strain in the plane running from top to bottom of the garment (this
would be the vertical plane for the wearer and the direction in which stretch marks would want to form). Maximum strain
Initial trials of the maternity support device (in 32 pregnant women wearing the product during the day, for at least one
Comfort and ‘wearability’
95% said the support was easy to put on 64% said it was comfortable to wear all day long 86% found the right size band fitted well 77% felt the band did not get too hot to wear (in summer)
82% said they would wear it for a full pregnancy 82% would recommend its use to others 45% said it helped with back pain
100% had no problems after washing the band 82% could sense no change in the product’s performance after washing
Liforma Stretch Mark Day Gel and Night Cream initial product trials
Liforma day gel and night cream have been formulated and developed in the UK and initial user trials (n=23) found:
100% of women said the creams were easy to apply 85% of women liked the smell of the products 100% of women said their skin felt soft and smooth after use of the night cream 100% of women agreed they could feel the slightly ‘tackiness’ after use of the day gel 100% of women agreed that if the products worked, they would buy them
“I loved the smell and richness of the creams”
“My skin is soft and supple and visibly less dry”
“Feels good to apply and went in to the skin easily”
The Liforma Stretch Mark Night Cream was tested in direct comparison with ‘other brands’ with stretch mark treatment
24 women tested Liforma night cream in nine key areas, Liforma was deemed superior to either Bio Oil or Palmer’s – with
Palmer’s beating Bio Oil in all areas too. In particular:
Did the product massage easily in to the skin? Is the product fully absorbed in to the skin quickly? Does the product dry quickly? Does your skin feel moisturised after use?
Two ‘focus groups’ (n=13) were formed (Group 1 were 20-25 years old and in Group 2 were from 25-35 years old);
75% of women had developed stretch marks 100% of women deemed that stretch marks were a problem 100% of women had thought about stretch marks early in their pregnancy and had sought advice All women thought current treatments were supposed to help Bio Oil was thought to be the most likely to be effective, because that’s what they had been told, yet it was
‘oily’, takes a long time to be absorbed and ‘gets everywhere’
“I’d be amazed if anyone’s not bothered”
“I’ll never wear a bikini again”
“I’ve used other treatments like Bio Oil – but they didn’t really work”
Liforma System Clinical Trial
Ultimately, the Liforma system is only of value if it actually works in helping to prevent stretch marks. In keeping with the
We will only present the truth
We will give evidence for all company claims
We will listen to customer feedback and act appropriately
We will continue to innovate and develop
Liforma has undertaken the World’s first full clinical trial of an integrated system designed specifically to help prevent the
formation of stretch marks during pregnancy.
On examination of available current peer reviewed literature and to be rigorous with ourselves at least, we assumed an incidence of 50% of stretch marks occurring with pregnancy. We set ourselves the very ambitious goal of demonstrating
a 50% reduction in stretch mark formation through use of the novel Liforma system; this was statistically powered and
required a study involving 128 women – 64 to be allocated to use the system and 64 women to act as ‘controls’.
The study enrolled women at 12 – 14 weeks of pregnancy, usually with no (or very little evidence of) stretch marks at
that time. Each woman was photographed using a high resolution digital camera, with all necessary details taken. She was provided with an appropriate fitting Liforma Stretch Mark Support and a supply of Liforma Stretch Mark Day Gel and
a smaller supply of Liforma Stretch Mark Night Cream, together with appropriate instructions for use.
The trial was approved by Ethics Committee and was monitored by a series of seven Consultant Obstetricians, in a two
hospital-based setting. Women were assessed as usual for their respective pregnancies, with further photographs taken at the 36th week of their pregnancy when in addition, detailed questionnaires were completed.
The trial is on-going and is due for completion in November 2012.
Dr Steve Barker
Medical Director at Liforma Limited
Liforma Limited Castle Court 41 London Road Reigate RH2 9RJ
T. 0845 229 2330 E. firstname.lastname@example.org Reg No. 8016081
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