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Our Dermatol Online.  2013; 4(2): 251-253
DOI:.  10.7241/ourd.20131.62
Date of submission:  26.09.2012 / acceptance: 04.11.2012
Conflicts of interest: None


Khalid Al Aboud1, Ahmad Al Aboud2

1Pathology Department, Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC, USA
2Dermatology Department, King Abdullah Medical City, Makkah, Saudi Arabia

Corresponding author:  Dr. Khalid Al Aboud    e-mail: amoa65@hotmail.com


The aim of this communication is to shed some lights on the names of some of the „lines’’ encountered in dermatology, which are summarized in Table I.
Names of ''Lines'', in dermatology literature
AA lines [1]
Linear, slightly depressed transverse line of the upper part of the forearm. Named by the team who reported it as AA (antecubital Ahn’s) lines. Ahn is the first author of the report.
Beau’s lines [2]
Beau’s lines are deep grooved lines in the nails. They are named after, a French physician, Joseph Honoré Simon Beau (1806–1865), who first described it in 1846.
Bunny lines [3]
Bunny lines are the subtle crinkly wrinkles on both sides of the nose. They get their name from the cute way bunnies scrunch up their noses.
Futcher’s lines or Voigt’s lines or Futcher-Voigt’s lines or Ito lines [4,5]
These are less common names for what is known as Pigmentary demarcation lines (PDL). PDL are physiological abrupt transition lines from areas of deeper pigmentation to the area with less pigmentation. Five types (A-E) have been described. More recently; facial lines F, G and H were added. Type A (Futcher’s / Voigt’s lines), the most common lines, seen over the dorso-ventral aspect of the arms. These lines are named after Howard Palmer Futcher (1910-2004), (Fig. 1) an American-Canadian physician. He was the former member of the faculty of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, executive director of the American Board of Internal Medicine.
Figure 1. Howard Palmer Futcher (1910-2004). Reproduced from reference number 4
Hart’s line [6]
Natural demarcation between the labia minora and the limits of the vestibule. It is named after David Berry Hart (1851-1920), who was a Scottish surgeon.
Langer’s lines [7,8]
Langer’s lines, sometimes called cleavage lines, are topological lines drawn on a map of the human body. The lines were first described in 1861 by Austrian anatomist Karl Langer (1819-1887). However, for skin incision, Kraissl preferred lines oriented perpendicular to the action of the underlying muscles. Later, Borges described relaxed skin tension lines, which follow furrows formed when the skin is relaxed and are produced by pinching the skin. Some authors think that Borges’s and Kraissl’s lines (not Langer’s) may be the best guides for elective incisions of the face and body, respectively.
Lines of Blaschko [1,9]
Imaging lines represent a pattern followed by many skin disorders. It is named after Alfred Blaschko (1858-1922), (Fig. 2), a German dermatologist.
Figure 2. Alfred Blaschko (1858-1922). A courtesy National Library of Medicine
Lines of Zahn [10]
Lines of Zahn are microscopic thing which can be seen in dermatopathology. They are a characteristic of thrombi. They have visible and microscopic alternating layers (laminations) of platelets mixed with fibrin, which appear lighter and darker layers of red blood cells.They are been named after German pathologist Friedrich Wilhelm Zahn (1845-1904), (Fig. 3).
Figure 3. Friedrich Wilhelm Zahn (1845-1904). Courtesy of BIU Sante (Paris) Available online from; http://www2.biusante.parisdescartes.fr/
Marionette lines [11]
Melomental folds, or marionette lines, are one of the consequences of facial aging. The curvilinear wrinkles formed because of facial movements and the aging process extends downward from the oral commissures. These lines are referred to as „Marionette Lines” named after the classic marionette puppets as they look like the mouth pieces of a ventriloquist’s doll.
Mees’ lines [2]
Also called Aldrich-Mees’ lines or leukonychia striata. They are lines of discoloration across the nails of the fingers and toes. They are named after Dutch physician R.A. Mees, who described the abnormality in 1919. However earlier descriptions of the same abnormality were made by Englishman E.S. Reynolds in 1901and by American C.J. Aldrich in 1904.
Muehrcke lines [2]
Muehrcke’s lines are white lines (leukonychia) that extend all the way across the nail and lie parallel to the lunula. Muehrcke’s lines were described by Robert C. Muehrcke (1921 -2003), an American Physician in 1956.
Pastia’s line [12]
Transverse red streaks in the skin folds due to capillary fragility in patients with scarlet fever it is named after a Romanian physician, Constantin Chessec Pastia (1883-1926).
Table I. Selected Names of „Lines’’, in dermatology literature

1. Ahn SK, Kim SJ, Choi EH, Lee SH, Lee S: AA line. Int J Dermatol. 1998;37:190-3. 2. Al Aboud K . Eponyms in dermatology literature linked to Nails. Our Dermatol Online. 2012;3:378-80. 3. Raspaldo H, Baspeyras M, Bellity P, Dallara JM, Gassia V, Niforos FR, et al: Consensus Group. Upper- and mid-face anti-aging treatment and prevention using onabotulinumtoxin A: the 2010 multidisciplinary French consensus–part 1. J Cosmet Dermatol. 2011;10:36-50. 4. Brzeziński P, Gijón EG, López-López J, Toyokawa T, Scrimshaw NS, Malard O, et al: Dermatology Eponyms-Phenomen/Sign- Lexicon (F).Our Dermatol Online. 2012;3:66-78. 5. Ito K: The peculiar demarcation of pigmentation along the so-called Voigt’s line among the Japanese. Dermatologia Int. 1965;4:45-7. 6. Obituary: David Berry Hart, M.D., F.R.C.P.Edin. Br Med J. 1920;19:852-3. 7. Wilhelmi BJ, Blackwell SJ, Phillips LG: Langer’s lines: to use or not to use. Plast Reconstr Surg. 1999;104:208-14. 8. Gibson T: Karl Langer (1819-1887) and his lines. Br J Plast Surg. 1978;31:1-2. 9. Kleine-Natrop HE: [50th anniversary of Alfred Blaschko’s death]. Dermatol Monatsschr. 1972;158:846. 10. Benaroyo L: [Contribution of Friedrich Wilhelm Zahn (1845- 1904) to the study of inflammation]. Gesnerus. 1991;49:395-408. 11. Carruthers A, Carruthers J, Hardas B, Kaur M, Goertelmeyer R, Jones D, et al: A validated grading scale for marionette lines. Dermatol Surg. 2008;34Suppl 2:S167-72. 12. Marcu N: [The life and activity of Dr. Constantin C. Pastia (1883- 1926)]. Rev Ig Bacteriol Virusol Parazitol Epidemiol Pneumoftiziol Bacteriol Virusol Parazitol Epidemiol. 1983;28:89-95.



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