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Study: Multi-polar RF for stretch marks

Results of a recent study suggest that striae can be treated safely and effectively with a radiofrequency (RF) energy-generating system featuring a multi-polar (MP2) pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF).

Dermatologists Jeffrey S. Dover, M.D., Chestnut Hill, Mass.; Kenneth Rothaus, M.D., New York; and Michael H. Gold, M.D., Nashville, conducted a two-center, single-arm pilot study involving 16 women between the ages of 30 and 72 (mean age, just over 46) with varying degrees of stretch marks. Each patient received six treatments using RF and PEMF. Treatment visits included measurements of striae bands and photos of the treated areas. Pre- and post-treatment photographs were compared by two independent physicians.

Treatment parameters, such as time (10 minutes for a 4-by-5-inch area) and output energy (60 to 80 percent, with the goal of reaching therapeutic in the first minute of treatment), were determined based on patient skin type and area of treatment. Immediately after treatment, treated areas were visually assessed for side effects such as edema, erythema, burn, localized infection and skin pigmentation. Patients were asked to assess their willingness to continue with the treatment and to rate observed improvements.

All 16 patients completed treatment. Following are some of the study results:

  • No side effects or undesirable safety events were recorded for any patient throughout the study
  • Fourteen patients reported visible improvement; one was not sure; and one saw no improvement
  • All patients said treatment was comfortable
  • After evaluating the pre- and post-treatment photographs, the two physicians agreed that there was reduction in the visibility of stretch marks after treatment in some of the photos

“The data generated in this study support the high degree of patient satisfaction and demonstrate the safe, effective use of RF and PEMFs in the treatment of striae,” the authors write. “Although results are promising, the long-term sustainability of the reduced visibility of the striae is not known, and further investigation is required. Patients may achieve a noticeable improvement; however, the complete elimination of the striae is not achieved using this method.”

The study appears in the Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology.

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