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Stretch Marks (Striae) Treatment

Striae constitute a common cosmetic problem and are the result of tearing of the dermis layer of the skin due to excessive stretching. Although more common in women, they can also cause significant cosmetic concerns for men. Mechanical stress is the primary factor in the development and the condition occurs most commonly during pregnancy or puberty. However, it is also common with sudden weight gain or loss, long-term systemic or topical corticosteroid use, and in various endocrine disorders such as obesity, Cushing’s syndrome and Marfan’s syndrome. Striae that are purple-red in the early period gradually become whiter. They are most commonly observed on the abdomen, thigh, waist, hip, breast and knee.

Striae treatment is difficult. However, they have become easier to treat with the developments in dermatology in the last 20 years. The cure rates for deep and large striae are still lower than for superficial and small striae. The most commonly used methods in striae treatment are dermaroller, dermapen, mesotherapy, PRP, dermabrasion, fractional laser and needle radiofrequency methods. However, the combined use of these methods increases the effectiveness of the treatment. Fractional laser and needle radiofrequency systems that trigger tissue healing and new collagen synthesis by creating controlled trauma at the dermis and epidermis have been found to be more successful in striae treatment. PRP and various mesotherapy cocktails are used to accelerate or increase wound healing after dermapen, dermaroller, laser and radiofrequency applications. These methods are recommended for 4-8 sessions at average intervals of 3-4 weeks according to the depth and width of the striae. Erythema may occur in the application area after the procedure and usually regresses within 1-2 days. Frequently moisturizing the application area and protecting it from the sun for at least 2 weeks are recommended.