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

Aesthetic Plast Surg. 2008 May;32(3):523-30. doi: 10.1007/s00266-008-9115-0.


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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Atrophy / pathology
  • Atrophy / physiopathology
  • Cicatrix / pathology
  • Cosmetic Techniques
  • Elastic Tissue
  • Equipment Design
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infrared Rays
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Phototherapy / instrumentation
  • Phototherapy / methods*
  • Rejuvenation / physiology
  • Rhytidoplasty / methods*
  • Skin
  • Skin Aging / physiology*
  • Skin Physiological Phenomena