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Author: Dr Beth Wright, Medical Registrar, Perth, Australia, 2012.
Linear focal elastosis is an uncommon dermal elastosis (elastosis refers to degenerative changes in elastic fibres). Only 24 cases have been reported since it was first described in 1989 .
To the naked eye linear focal elastosis appears as yellow, palpable lines or striae, usually extending horizontally over the lower back or legs.
There are more cases of linear focal elastosis reported in males than in females, and the age of affected individuals ranges between seven and 89 years . There is no evidence of any racial or ethnic predilection .
Linear focal elastosis is usually asymptomatic and is diagnosed incidentally.
It has most commonly been reported to affect the lumbar back region, however there are also reports of linear focal elastosis on the trunk, lower limbs and face [4,5].
Linear focal elastosis is diagnosed clinically by its appearance and distribution, and on skin biopsy. Histology shows a focal increase in abnormal elastic fibres in the dermis.
The pathogenesis of linear focal elastosis is uncertain.
There are several reports of linear focal elastosis and striae distensae (stretch marks) co existing in the same distribution in affected individuals [1,3]. It has been proposed that linear focal elastosis may represent excessive regeneration of damaged elastic fibres as part of the repair process of striae distensae . However some authors have disputed this, due to differing clinical and histopathological appearances of the disorders.
No effective treatment has been described.
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