Striae Distensae Mimicking Physical Child Abuse

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Kılıç S., Fedakar R., Yüksel M.

Journal of College of Physicians and Surgeons Pakistan Case Reports, vol.2023, no.1, pp.32-33, 2023 (Peer-Reviewed Journal)


Differentiating between benign cutaneous manifestations and lesions from inflicted injuries is not always simple. A 14-year boy was admitted to our Forensic Medicine Clinic for the preparation of a medico-legal report requested by the prosecution office. On inspection, there were 10 violaceous, atrophic, horizontal, linear striae distensae (SD), confined to the lower back and measuring 0.5 cm in width and between 6 cm and 13 cm in length. The boy had experienced severe weight loss and a large spurt in height in recent months. A diagnosis of physiologic SD was made. This case is presented to draw physicians’ attention to a physiologic skin manifestation in adolescence that mimics trauma. It is recommended that practitioners develop examination skills and medical knowledge about cases that may become the subject of legal action. Moreover, physicians should learn to distinguish whether skin lesions originate from trauma or not.