What’s The Best Treatment For Stretch Marks?
Stretch marks (striae distensae) are one of the more frustrating skin conditions since they affect many, yet no consistent treatment has been identified. The condition is common across races and gender though they are twice as common in females. These wrinkled scars have been linked to psychological stress.
There are several treatments available, though none have emerged as standard and predictable in effectiveness. Topical creams, pulsed-dye laser, copper bromide laser, intense pulsed light, and fractional photothermolysis, have all been studied but none of these modalities showed a consistent effect on stretch marks. A different treatment, fractionated microneedle radiofrequency (FMR) devices, are effectively used to treat atrophic scars and wrinkles and in skin rejuvenation. These devices work by creating radiofrequency thermal zones without epidermal injury. In a Korean study of patients with skin type IV, a combination of FMR and fractionated CO2 lasers produced a clinical improvement that was better than either treatment alone. A recent study sought to repeat these results on patients with skin type III and IV. This study, conducted in Iran on a small sample of female patients, replicated the results of the prior study. The authors conclude that although the sample was small, FMR in combination with fractional CO2 laser had more therapeutic effect on stretch marks than FMR alone. In addition, they were able to achieve these results with fewer treatments making this combination more cost-effective.
Byline: Martha L. Sikes, MS, RPh, PA-C
Posted: June 16, 2016