Objective: To assess whether application of cocoa butter lotion reduces the development of striae gravidarum (SG).
Design: Multicentre, double-blind, randomised and placebo-controlled trial.
Setting: Beirut and Tripoli, Lebanon.
Population: Nulliparous women presenting for prenatal care.
Methods: Nulliparous women presenting in the first trimester were randomly assigned to receive a lotion containing cocoa butter or a placebo lotion. Women were instructed to apply the assigned lotion daily until delivery.
Main outcome measure: The development of striae over the abdomen, breasts and thighs postpartum.
Results: Of 210 women enrolled, 175 (83%) completed the study. Ninety-one women received the study lotion and 84 received the placebo. There was no difference in the development of SG (45.1% versus 48.8%; P = 0.730) or the severity of SG between cases and controls. The results did not change when presence of stretch marks at enrolment or compliance with the regimen were taken into account.
Conclusion: Topical application of a lotion containing cocoa butter does not appear to reduce the likelihood of developing striae gravidarum.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00114660.