Managing striae gravidarum and striae distensae in cosmetic practice by Julie Brackenbury RGN,INP
Striae, more commonly known as stretch marks, or striae distensae are a cosmetically undesirable skin condition that rarely causes significant medical morbidity, but can be a source of distress to patients. It is a challenging cosmetic problem for aesthetic nurses and doctors, for which various treatment modalities have been applied but have not been satisfactory to date. The cause of striae is not well understood and in some cases can be somewhat of a cosmetic taboo. Given that 90% of women experience striae in pregnancy, aesthetic nurses are likely to be presented with patients suffering from this cosmetic debilitating condition and it is vital to know what is available to sufferers in terms of treatment. There are many commercialised products and treatments claiming to banish the problem, with often no clinical evidence to support these claims. This article will help to dispel the myths and provide aesthetic nurses with a further insight into the cause, management and treatment to enable their patients to be educated ethically, accordingly and appropriately.