Does My Child Have Stretch Marks?

My son has horizontal red lines on his lower back.  They look like stretch marks.  What are these things and will they go away?

You son probably went through a fast growth spurt.  These are stretch marks.  They can be seen on girls and on boys who has a rapid height increase.  The child is usually a healthy, non-obese and near puberty.  

The marks typically look like red or purple horizontal streaks in the lower back area.  Over time the marks will fade and the lines may be a little white or silver in color.  It may take years to fade.  There are no medical concerns with the marks and their remnants.  If treatment is desired for cosmetic reasons, options include laser treatments and topical treatments.   The treatments are not likely to be covered by insurance.

If you have other questions about your child’s skin, please contact your child’s health care provider.   Skin problems are hard to diagnose over the phone, so an appointment may be needed.

Sharon Rink, MDBy Sharon Rink, MD, pediatrician, ThedaCare Physicians-Pediatrics in Darboy