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August 1984

Edematous Striae Distensae

Author Affiliations


From the Dermatology Service, Department of Medicine, Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, DC. Dr Peterson is now with the Silas B. Hays Army Community Hospital, Ft Ord, Calif. Dr Read is now in private practice in Washington, DC.

Arch Dermatol. 1984;120(8):1097-1098. doi:10.1001/archderm.1984.01650440127034

Striae distensae are wide, linear bands occurring on the body that, until recently, were of uncertain origin. One of four possible etiologic mechanisms usually considered were: (1) insufficient development of the integuement, including a deficiency in its elastic properties; (2) rapid stretching of the skin; (3) endocrine imbalance; and (4) other, possibly toxic, causes.1 General support for each of these mechanisms were reported in the literature over the years.2-5 By the mid-20th century, however, it was believed that endocrine imbalance was probably the most important causative factor.3,510 Mechanical and other factors also caused some secondary effects.

Multiple names were given to identify this condition— "striae atrophicae," "striae distensae," and "lineae atrophicae."11 Striae distensae found the most common acceptance.8,11 The lesions are described as depressed or elevated bands or lines on the body having a change in color or texture.8 The lesions generally follow cleavage

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