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Dermatology Research and Practice
Volume 2012, Article ID 673706, 10 pages
Research Article

Ultrasound and 3D Skin Imaging: Methods to Evaluate Efficacy of Striae Distensae Treatment

Department of Drug Sciences, School of Pharmacy, University of Pavia, Via Taramelli 12, 27100 Pavia, Italy

Received 31 July 2011; Accepted 6 September 2011

Academic Editor: Elvira Moscarella

Copyright © 2012 Mariella Bleve et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Over time, the striae rubra develop into striae alba that appear white, flat, and depressed. It is very important to determine the optimum striae management. In order to evaluate the effectiveness of these therapies, objective measurement tools are necessary. Objective. The aim of this study is to evaluate if ultrasonography and PRIMOS can be used to obtain an objective assessment of stretch marks type and stage; furthermore, we aim to apply these techniques to evaluate the efficacy of a topical treatment. Methods. 20 volunteers were enrolled with a two-month study. A marketed cosmetic product was used as the active over one body area. The controlateral area with stretch marks was treated with a “placebo” formulation without active, as a control. The instrumental evaluation was carried out at the beginning of the trial (baseline values or 𝑡 0 ), after 1 month ( 𝑡 1 ), and at the end of the study ( 𝑡 2 ). Results. PRIMOS was able to measure and document striae distensae maturation; furthermore, ultrasound imaging permitted to visualize and diagnose the striae. Statistical analysis of skin roughness demonstrated a statistically significant reduction of Rp value only in a treated group. In fact, the Rp value represented a maximum peak height in the area selected. These results demonstrated that after two months of treatment only the striae rubra can be treated successfully. Conclusions. This work demonstrated that the 22MHz ultrasound can diagnose stretch marks; PRIMOS device can detect and measure striae distensae type and maturation. Furthermore, the high-frequency ultrasound and the 3D image device, described in this work, can be successfully employed in order to evaluate the efficacy of a topical treatment.