17 September 2010A new study has found that as many as half of British women feel a lack of confidence in their appearance due to the presence of unsightly stretch marks, and that a fifth of women who develop the marks during pregnancy even try to hide them from their partners.Stretch marks affect between 75 and 90 per cent of new mothers following pregnancy, and two thirds of mothers told Bio Oil they did not receive any advice on stretch mark treatments and prevention methods from midwives or healthcare workers. Spokesperson for the skincare product, Julie Lardieg, said: "This research highlights the long-term impact that scars and stretch marks can have and that women expect healthcare professionals to offer advice about how to prevent and reduce the appearance." MadeForMums reports that many women say the marks, or striae, also play a part in determining how they dress each day, meaning there is a growing concern for finding a suitable treatment. Women are urged to use caution, however, as many of the creams and non surgical treatments advertised for reducing stretch marks have not been medically proven to effectively reduce their appearance. The Harley Medical Group offers the only treatment approved by the FDA for stretch mark removal in the UK, which has also been proven to reduce the appearance of stretch marks by up to 75 per cent.