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Author: V.N.Hiromel de Silva, Dermatology Registrar, Waikato Hospital, Hamilton, New Zealand, 2008.
Blaschko lines or the lines of Blaschko are thought to represent pathways of epidermal cell migration and proliferation during the development of the fetus.
This concept was first described by the German dermatologist Alfred Blaschko in 1901 at the 7th Congress of German Dermatological Society.
These lines constitute a surface pattern that is distinguished from other morphological lines of the skin and skin dermatomes. They do not correspond to the nervous system or vascular pathways.
Blaschko lines are consistently V-shaped on the upper spine, S-shaped on the abdomen, inverted U-shaped from the breast area to the upper arm, and perpendicular down the front and back of the lower extremities.
They never cross the anterior truncal midline but run along it.
These lines are invisible but many inherited and acquired diseases of skin manifest themselves according to these patterns creating the visual appearance of these lines.
Many inherited and some acquired skin conditions are distributed along Blaschko lines.
|Congenital skin disorders|
|X-linked dominant skin disorders|
|Acquired skin disorders|
|Disorders with polygenic background|
Childhood conditions distributed along Blaschko lines on a limb
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