16-2 ‘Stretch marks’- more than skin deep?

'Stretch marks’- more than skin deep? / Hilla Sarig Bahat



Striae distensae (SD), the medical term for stretch marks, is a common skin condition that is still a clinical enigma. SD is characterized by linear skin marks, reddish initially, which over time tend to fade and appear as light-colored scar-like marks. SD is most prevalent in pregnant women and in adolescents where it is associated with growth spurts. In spite of it being such a widespread phenomenon, the relationship between identified SDs and musculoskeletal symptoms in the same region is not yet understood. This paper reviews the debated mechanisms of SD and existing knowledge regarding the epidemiology and pathophysiology associated with SD. Considering the limitations of available knowledge, the study suggests relevant clinical evaluation components when SDs and musculoskeletal symptoms appear in the same region. Specific relevant tests for patients with low back pain are described, considering possible links between the dermal and musculoskeletal disorders. 


Key words: Stretch marks; Striae distensae; Low back pain; Growth spurt; Musculoskeletal symptoms.

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