A 14-year-old boy was referred to a paediatric clinic after a recent diagnosis of coeliac disease, which was well controlled on a gluten-free diet. During the consultation, the mother raised concerns regarding marks that had developed over her son's back over the past 6 months. On examination, a number of horizontal, coloured bruise-like marks were noted over the lower back. The appearance was suspicious of bruising and possible non-accidental injury, although a history of trauma or injury was denied. Blood tests including a coagulation screen were arranged which were normal and the patient was followed up twice during a 6-month period. He remained well but the bruising was persistent. It was concluded that these were striae associated with pubertal growth. This case summarises the importance of careful surveillance of bruising in children and illustrates the association between striae and pubertal growth which may be confused with non-accidental injury.
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