Both fractional radiofrequency (RF)-based microneedling and fractional Er:YAG laser are effective treatments for striae alba (SA), with RF microneedling showing slight benefits for epidermal thickening, according to the outcomes of a split-body study published in Lasers in Surgery and Medicine (August 2021).
Investigators Hesham A. Nada MD, et al, treated 20 female patients with SA. The patients were treated with 2,940 nm fractional Er:YAG laser on side of the body, while the other side was treated with the fractional RF microneedling (FMR).
Following treatment there was a significant reduction in the width of the widest striae on both sides with no significant difference between the sides. Using optical coherence tomography, all patients demonstrated a mean significant increase in epidermal thickness; however, the FMR-treated sites showed significantly better results when compared with the ER:YAG-treated sides. Scar improvements did not correlate to skin type, duration or site of the striae with either treatment modality.
The authors concluded that, “Er:YAG and FMR represent two safe, effective, tolerable modalities for treating SA and are associated with minimal side effects.”