Dermatology Oasis

Editor: Nameer Al-Sudany, MD (IRAQ)

Striae distensae

What would you have to know about stretch marks ?
Synonyms: Striae distensae, Striae atrophicans, Striae rubra (red), and Striae alba (white).
* Very common especially in adolescent girls (70%) and boys (40%).
* Sites of predilection: Areas in which the skin is exposed to continuous and progressive stretching:
1. Abdomen and breast in pregnant women
2. Adolescents undergoing growth spurts (thighs, buttocks, breasts)
3. Shoulders in body-builders
4. Obese or overweight people
1. Obesity
2. Periods of rapid growth
3. Heavy weight lifters and body builders
4. Excessive or prolonged use of corticosteroids (topical, oral, parenteral) and anabolic steroids
5. Excessive endogenous corticosteroids (Cushing’s syndrome)
6. Marfan syndrome.
* Striae caused by corticosteroid use or Cushing’s syndrome are often larger and wider than those caused by other causes.
* Treatment is unsatisfactory in most cases, however, the following options may be tried:
1. Topical retinoids
2. Chemical peels
3. Pulsed dye laser therapy
4. Fractional thermolysis
5. Skin needling
* Striae are usually of no medical significance but may cause considerable cosmetic concern.