This article shows a comparison between two simple methods of treatment which are currently widely used in the aesthetics industry to treat early striae distensae. With the increasing demand from patients to achieve an improvement in stretch marks, the drive to find an optimum method is gaining momentum. This study was conducted on striae distensae that were still in the acute inflammation stage presenting as a pinkish / purplish colour, not the older atrophic stretch marks. The reason for these methods of treatments selected was, as the author states, there is currently no identified gold standard for stretch marks and dermatologists currently use both dermabrasion and tretinoin for conditions such as striae. No randomised studies have been conducted prior to this one. Thirty-two subjects were recruited for the study with 22 completing it and nine agreeing to have biopsies post treatment. The efficacy of this study was measured using the Global Aesthetic Improvement Scale and the subjects indicated their feedback using a 5 point scale (very satisfied to very unsatisfied). The results from these scales at 16 weeks showed that both groups felt the treatment gave some improvement, with no reports of being unsatisfied with the results – although not everyone finished the study. Of the biopsies performed only one was on a tretinoin subject giving no indication of histological changes. However, the histological changes in the dermabrasion categories showed encouraging signs of collagen formation. Patients report an improvement in the straie with both methods of treatment, however, histologically can only be supported for dermabrasion. It could be suggested that considering the number of patients who dropped out of the tretinoin group that the risk of side effects could make this method of treatment difficult to adhere to. I eagerly await further studies and research on patients with striae. There are a number of other treatments available but further studies are required to support the efficacy. This was a really interesting article and I hope there are further studies to follow as it is a particular area of interest to me.

Superficial dermabrasion verus topical tretinoin on early striae distensae: a randomised, pilot study.
Hexsel D, Soirefmann M, Porto M, et al.
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Victoria Whiteley

BSc (Hons), ITEC, VTCT, Aesthetic Phlebology Practitioner, Director of The Whiteley Clinic.

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