Stretch marks, called striae, virtually always appear during adolescence or early adulthood. In men, they are commonly located on the lower back and around the armpits. In women, breasts, stomach, hips and upper thighs are often affected. They are normally not considered to be associated with a medical condition, except in Cushing syndrome, prolonged internal cortisone treatments, major weight gain and chemotherapy.
The best time to treat striae is in their early stages when they still appear red and the elastic tissue hasn’t been totally destroyed yet. Early stages are treated using a combination of a pulsed dye laser (PDL), addressing the redness), fractionated non-ablative laser (Fraxel) or a radiofrequency device (Endymed Infini/3DEEP) for skin tightening and collagen/elastin stimulation. Stretch marks become white and atrophic as they mature. At that stage, the same approach would be used with the exception of the PDL. The goal then would be to tighten and improve the stretch marks’ skin texture.