BACKGROUND Striae distensae (SD) are aesthetically troublesome to patients and therapeutically challenging. OBJECTIVE Herein, the authors comprehensively review the literature pertaining to the history, pathogenesis, clinical presentation, clinical rating scales, and laboratory, imaging, and histologic features of SD. METHODS AND MATERIALS A review of PubMed, MEDLINE, Scopus, Embase, and Google scholar was conducted, including literature published from 1773 to August 6, 2016. RESULTS The authors identified 68 articles that met inclusion and exclusion criteria. CONCLUSION There are few randomized controlled trials evaluating the long-term efficacy and safety of various topical and energy-based devices. Based on clinical and anecdotal experience, both nonablative and ablative fractionated lasers have shown modest SD improvement compared with other treatment modalities (including Excimer laser, CuBr laser, pulsed dye laser, and 1,064-nm Nd:YAG laser). In the authors' experience, 1,540-nm nonablative fractionated laser is a worthy first-line modality for the treatment of SD. Future researchers may consider greater focus on enhanced study design, including larger, long-term split-body, or split-SD head-to-head randomized comparative trials with objective outcome measures and end points, such as biopsy and molecular studies demonstrating increased collagen and elastic fibers that correlate to clinical improvement.
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