We, humans, have swirly stripes imprinted on our skin. We can’t see them unless we’re not infected with some particular skin diseases.
They’re called Blaschko’s lines. These lines are due to a normal cell development in the human skin.
Alfred Blaschko, a German dermatologist, first raised awareness to these stripes back in 1901, thus, they are named after him. The lines aren’t linked to the muscular, nervous or lymphatic systems in our bodies and they don’t correspond to them. They are a type of a genetic mosaicism and can be observed on people even as young as 3 year old infants.
These lines are invisible unless you’re suffering from a skin rash (like lichen, for example), Chimerism, X-linked genetic skin disorders, or other pigment-related disorders. The stripes follow wavy shapes on the head, “S” shapes on the chest and the sides, and a “V” shape on the back. They are believed to be the traces of our embryonic cells’ migration.
Not only that, but they have been known to appear even on domesticated animals, such as dogs and cats.
Some of the following conditions are associated with Blaschko’s Lines:
- Nevus sebaceous
- Epidermal Naevus
- Naevus achromicus
- Inflammatory Linear Verrucous Epidermal Nevus
X-linked genetic skin disorder
- XLPDR syndrome
- CHILD syndrome
- Incontinentia pigmenti
Acquired inflammatory skin rashes
- Lupus erythematosus
- Lichen planus
- Lichen striatus