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Blaschko’s Lines
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The lines of Blaschko are a pattern of lines on the skin that represent the developmental growth pattern during epidermal cell migration. The lines are distinguished from other morphological lines of the skin and do not represent vascular, lymphatic or nervous structures. Typically these lines are not visible; however, certain inherited and acquired diseases of the skin follow Blaschko’s lines.

Blaschko’s lines were originally described by Dr. Alfred Blaschko in 1901 when he examined over 140 patients with linear skin lesions that followed similar patterns. A diagram of the distribution pattern of these lines has since been drawn and is now referred to as the lines of Blaschko.

Blaschko’s lines follow a V-shape over the upper spine, an S-shape over the abdomen, an inverted U-shape from the breast to the upper arm, and perpendicular lines up and down the arms and legs. They also appear on the head and neck in a less well-defined manner.

The following congenital, acquired and genetic diseases follow Blaschko’s lines:

Congenital Skin Disorders

  • Bart syndrome
  • Epidermal Nevus
  • Hypomelanosis of Ito
  • Inflammatory linear verrucous epidermal nevus
  • Linear and whorled nevoid hypermelanosis
  • Linear basal cell nevus
  • Linear Darier’s disease
  • Linear eccrine nevi
  • Linear epidermolytic hyperkeratosis
  • Linear nevus comedonicus
  • Linear porokeratosis of Mibelli
  • Nevus corniculatus
  • Nevus depigmentosus
  • Nevus sebaceous of Jadassohn
  • Relapsing linear acantholytic dermatosis
  • Syringocystadenoma papilliferum
  • Unilateral nevoid basal cell carcinoma syndrome

Acquired Skin Disorders

  • Extragenital lichen sclerosus
  • Generalized lichenoid drug eruption
  • Lichen striatus
  • Linear atrophoderma of Moulin
  • Linear fixed drug eruption
  • Linear lichen planus
  • Linear mucinoses and mycosis fungoides
  • Linear psoriasis
  • Linear scleroderma
  • Lichen striatus
  • Lupus erythematosus
  • Segmental vitiligo

Genetic Skin Disorders

  • CHILD syndrome
  • Conradi-Hunermann syndrome
  • Familial cutaneous amyloidosis, Partington type
  • Focal dermal hypoplasia
  • Incontinentia pigmentii
  • Melanotic macules of McCune-Albright syndrome
  • Menke’s syndrome
  • Oro-facial-digital syndrome, type I
  • Segmental ash leaf spot
  • X-linked hypohidrotic ectodermal dysplasia

 

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The medical information provided in this site is for educational purposes only and is the property of the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice and shall not create a physician - patient relationship. If you have a specific question or concern about a skin lesion or disease, please consult a dermatologist. Any use, re-creation, dissemination, forwarding or copying of this information is strictly prohibited unless expressed written permission is given by the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology.

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