Stretch Marks

Dermatol Surg. 2008 May;34(5):686-91; discussion 691-2. Epub 2008 Mar 10.

Stretch marks: treatment using the 1,064 nm Nd:YAG laser.

Goldman A, Rossato F, Prati C.

Department of Plastic Surgery and Dermatology, Clinica Goldman, Porto Alegre, Brazil.

BACKGROUND: Striae are frequent skin lesions that cause considerable aesthetic concern. The 1,064-nm long-pulsed Nd:YAG laser has been used to promote an increase in dermal collagen and is known to be a laser that has a high affinity for vascular chromophores.

OBJECTIVE: This study aims to verify the efficacy of the long-pulsed Nd:YAG laser in the treatment of immature striae.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Twenty patients who had immature striae, i.e., red striae, were treated using the 1,064-nm long-pulsed Nd:YAG laser. The analysis of treatment efficacy was performed by the comparison between the images taken before and after each treatment session as well as through a subjective assessment carried out by the patients themselves.

RESULTS: Results were considered satisfactory to both patients and doctors. A higher number of patients (55%) considered the results excellent when compared to the same assessment made by the doctor (40%).

CONCLUSION: The clinical improvement of immature striae can be obtained with the use of the 1,064-nm long-pulsed Nd:YAG laser. The low incidence of side effects makes this laser a good alternative in the treatment of these common skin lesions.

Aesthetic Plast Surg. 2008 May;32(3):523-30.

Effects achieved on stretch marks by a nonfractional broadband infrared light system treatment.

Trelles MA, Levy JL, Ghersetich I.

Instituto Médico Vilafortuny/Antoni de Gimbernat Foundation, Avda. Vilafortuny, 31, E-43850 Cambrils, Spain.

BACKGROUND: Infrared light systems reportedly produce collagen-related effects, enabling the treatment of several skin disorders. This study was designed to evaluate effects on stretch marks from an intense pulsed light infrared device, which achieved high fluences with high-frequency stacked pulses on selected areas.

METHODS: For this study, 10 patients were recruited for treatment with the NovaPlus infrared device. Three passes per session over four sessions were given 15 days apart. The patients were advised to maintain their weight throughout the study period to avoid any impact on stretch marks. Objective evaluation was performed by using a computer program to compare photographs taken before and 3 months after the last session. Three-dimensional (3D) skin surface analysis also was performed using scores of “worse,” “same,” “fair,” “better,” and “much better.” Biopsies were taken immediately before the first treatment and 3 months after the last session. Also, responses to questionnaires were evaluated to determine the patients’ satisfaction index. RESULTS: Few patients noted improvement. Photographs of stretch marks checked by computer analysis and 3D skin surface imagery gave a practically equal outcome, with no “worse” or “much better” results. However, these objective tests demonstrated greater improvement than shown by the clinician and patient findings. Histology showed positive changes in the epidermis and dermis related to improvement in tissue condition. The satisfaction index from the questionnaires was average. The authors recognize that the small number of subjects possibly limited the statistical power of the study.

CONCLUSIONS: Objective improvement observed in the overall skin condition did not match the visual observation. The absence of side effects or complications and good compliance with the treatment suggest that extra treatment sessions with the infrared light device could be tried to obtain a better outcome.

Dermatol Surg. 2002 Dec;28(12):1124-30.

Intense pulsed light in the treatment of striae distensae.

Hernández-Pérez E, Colombo-Charrier E, Valencia-Ibiett E.

Center for Dermatology and Cosmetic Surgery, San Salvador, El Salvador.

BACKGROUND: Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) is a noncoherent, nonlaser, filtered flashlamp, emitting a broadband visible light. Its efficacy has been reported recently in the treatment of photodamaged facial skin, promoting the production of neo collagen and ordering of elastic fibers. We don’t know however, its efficacy in the treatment of striae distensae.

OBJECTIVE: To assess gross and microscopical changes that occur in the striae distensae when treated by IPL.

METHODS: A prospective study was carried out in 15 women, all of them having late stage striae distensae of the abdomen. Five sessions of IPL were performed in each one, once every two weeks. Skin biopsies and before and after photographs were taken of all the patients. Data concerning skin features (number of stretch marks in a square of 5 cm per side, sum of all the stretch marks to determine the total length, discolorations and general appearance) were all assessed before each session and at the end of the study. Microscopical changes were all carefully assessed. For the statistical analysis a “t” test for small samples was used.

RESULTS: All patients showed clinical and microscopical improvement in each one of the parameters assessed. The “t” test for small samples showed a statistically significative difference (p < 0.01) in the post treatment dermal thickness.

CONCLUSION: Striae distensae improved clinically and microscopically after IPL. It seems to be a promising method of treatment for this common problem with minimal side-effects, a wide safety margin and no downtime.