Section : Management opinions

Stretch Marks (Striae Distensae)(for professionals)

No current therapeutical modality gives complete clearance:

-the best way remains prevention.

-Our impression is that the most effective available treatments will yield around 30% improvement.


-tretinoin (retin A) 0.1% has a proven effect (Topical tretinoin 0.1% for pregnancy-related abdominal striae: an open-label, multicenter, prospective study. Rangel O, Arias I, García E, Lopez-Padilla S. Adv Ther. 2001 Jul-Aug;18(4):181-6.).

It can also improve the appearance of early striae (Topical tretinoin (retinoic acid) improves early stretch marks.(Kang S, Kim KJ, Griffiths CE, Wong TY, Talwar HS, Fisher GJ, Gordon D, Hamilton TA, Ellis CN, Voorhees JJ. Arch Dermatol. 1996 May;132(5):519-26.)


-when immature, stretch marks which are red have their appearance improved with an NDYAG1064 laser or a Pulsed dye 585 laser.

-For old stretch marks which are white, partial repigmentation may be tried with phototherapy (UVB, UVA1, Multiclear).

-IPL (Intense pulsed light) is touted as been effective in the treatment of striae distensae (Hernández-Pérez E, Colombo-Charrier E, Valencia-Ibiett E. Dermatol Surg. 2002 Dec;28(12):1124-30).

-Lasers, however should be used with caution in pigmented skin for this condition because of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (Comparison of the 585 nm pulse dye laser and the short pulsed CO2 laser in the treatment of striae distensae in skin types IV and VI. Nouri K, Romagosa R, Chartier T, Bowes L, Spencer JM. Dermatol Surg. 1999 May;25(5):368-70).


Published peer review data is limited. Our opinion is that texture will improve and overall improvement should not exceed 20%.

This advice is for informational purposes  only and does not replace therapeutic judgement done by a skin doctor.

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