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Oct 2012

The Heliotrope Sign of DermatomyositisThe Correct Meaning of the Term Heliotrope

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Department of Dermatology and Venereology, Second University of Naples, Naples, Italy.

Arch Dermatol. 2012;148(10):1178. doi:10.1001/archdermatol.2012.2596

A common misconception is that the word heliotrope refers to the localization of the cutaneous lesions on sun-exposed areas. The terms heliotrope and heliotropic mean “turning towards the sun” and derive from Greek helios (ηλιος), meaning “sun,” and trepein (τρϵ"πϵιν), meaning “to turn.” Over the years, the term heliotrope has been used to indicate things that either reflect or turn to the sun, including an instrument for land survey, a mineral, and, above all, a flower.

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