Striae Distensae: A Comprehensive Review and Evidence-Based Evaluation of Prophylaxis and Treatment

S. Al-Himdani; S. Ud-Din; S. Gilmore; A. Bayat


The British Journal of Dermatology. 2014;170(3):527-547. 

In This Article


Striae distensae affect a substantial proportion of the worldwide population and pose a psychological burden to those affected. A multitude of companies target pregnant women and others affected by SD, with the aim of preventing or treating these cosmetically undesirable lesions.

Important associated factors have been recognized in both pregnant women and adolescents. Among pregnant women, pregnancy-related risk factors and constitutional factors associated with SD exist. Although visual scoring methods for severity are commonly used, no validated measure of assessing SD has been reported in the literature. Imaging techniques allow objective evaluation of SD in vivo. They may be potentially used for evaluation of SD maturation as well as responses to and comparisons of treatments. No high-quality, large, double-blind RCT exists in the literature that supports the use of creams and lotions in the prevention of pregnancy-related SD, and most evidence points to a lack of efficacy of topical preventative agents. Additionally, most articles that evaluate the use of lasers for treatment of SD are of evidence base levels 3–5. Significant side-effects may occur with both topical treatments and laser devices. Pre-treatment assessment of SD type and Fitzpatrick skin type is important to allow treatment regimens to be instigated with minimal adverse effects.

Double-blind, RCTs with large patient numbers are required to evaluate fully the evidence behind topical therapies and laser devices in the prevention and treatment of SD.