The use of energy devices in the treatment of striae: a systematic literature review

J Dermatolog Treat. 2019 May;30(3):294-302. doi: 10.1080/09546634.2018.1506078. Epub 2018 Sep 7.


Background: Striae distensae are caused by rapid stretching of the skin. They are often secondary to obesity or pregnancy and can lead to significant cosmetic disfigurement.

Aim: To determine the efficacy, indications, and side effects of commonly used energy devices in the treatment of striae.

Methods: A comprehensive literature search was performed using the PubMed and Medline databases.

Results: A total of 41 relevant articles were identified. Radiofrequency (RF) was the commonest employed modality (11 studies), followed by the CO2, and pulsed dye lasers (10 and 5 studies, respectively). The best results against striae alba were seen with a combination of RF, platelet-rich plasma and ultrasound (either excellent or very good results in 71.9%), followed by intense pulsed light in isolation (very good results in 40%). The response of SR was assessed by fewer studies. The best outcomes were seen after treatment with either the Nd:YAG (excellent results in 40% and good in 40%) or Er:Glass lasers (excellent results in 10% and good in 20%).

Conclusions: The therapeutic measures for striae are multiple and no current treatment offers consistent and complete resolution. However, energy devices are a safe and potentially effective modality in the treatment of striae.

Keywords: Striae; lasers; scarring; scars; stretch marks.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Laser Therapy / methods*
  • Platelet-Rich Plasma
  • Radiofrequency Therapy / methods*
  • Skin / radiation effects
  • Striae Distensae / therapy*
  • Ultrasonic Therapy / methods*