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Am J Clin Dermatol. 2008;9(1):33-7.

Fractional photothermolysis for the treatment of striae distensae in Asian skin.

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Department of Dermatology, College of Medicine, Chung-Ang University, Seoul, Korea.



Striae distensae (SD) are dermal scars characterized by linear atrophic depressions. Fractional photothermolysis (FP) is an effective modality for the treatment of cutaneous scars.


To evaluate the safety and efficacy of FP for the treatment of SD in Asian skin.


Six female volunteers aged between 20 and 35 years with chronic striae albae phase SD on both buttocks were enrolled. SD lesions on the right buttock were irradiated with a 1550-nm FP laser and patients were followed every 4 weeks for a total of 8 weeks. Outcome assessments included serial photographs, erythema index and melanin index tracking, skin elasticity, histologic examination, and the patients' subjective satisfaction scores.


FP treatment was associated with a substantial improvement in the appearance of SD at 8 weeks post-treatment. The erythema index and melanin index of the treated SD lesions tended to converge with those of the control skin at 4-week follow-up. Skin elasticity was found to be partially normalized after FP. In addition, there was a significant increase in epidermal thickness, collagen, and elastic fiber deposition after FP as demonstrated by histologic examination. Adverse effects of FP included mild and transient pain and hyperpigmentation.


FP can reduce SD by stimulating new collagen and elastic fiber synthesis. In addition, repetitive treatments might constitute an effective approach to improving the treatment of SD.

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