Background: Striae distensae have notoriously been difficult to treat due to their extensive involvement of nonfacial skin. Microneedling with its lack of thermal injury during microneedling treatment renders it a viable treatment option in darker skin tones and nonfacial regions due to the reduced risk of postinflammatory hyperpigmentation.
Objective: To describe the clinical results and side effects of microneedling in a series of 25 individuals with striae distensae.
Materials and methods: Twenty-five consecutive adults (SPT I-V) with striae distensae involving the trunk and extremities were treated using a microneedling device. No additional treatments (topical or intralesional) were applied. Two assessors blinded to treatment protocol rated clinical improvement of striae on a 5-point scale. Side effects were monitored and tabulated.
Results: Patients received 1 to 3 consecutive monthly treatments. All striae improved at least 50% after an average of 1.8 treatments, and 28% of patients demonstrated more than 75% clinical improvement. Striae in thicker skin regions (e.g., buttocks/thighs) showed comparable clinical improvement than those in thinner skin areas (e.g., breasts) and did not require additional treatment sessions. Side effects were limited to transient erythema in all skin phototypes. No infections or dyspigmentation were observed.
Conclusion: The clinical results obtained in this study support the safe and effective treatment of striae distensae with microneedling in light and dark skin tones in various body locations. Standardization of treatment protocols are anticipated with further (ongoing) studies.