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February 2016

Crazy in Love

Author Affiliations
  • 1St John’s Institute of Dermatology, Guys’ and St Thomas’ NHS Trust, London, England
  • 2Department of Dermatology, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, New South Wales, Australia
JAMA Dermatol. 2016;152(2):230. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2015.1521

Every February brings with it St Valentine's Day, and while expressions of love abound during this month, on any given day throughout the year there are ample romantic descriptions to be found in dermatology.

Drawing on classical mythology, the hypopigmented macules of syphilis are known as the necklace of Venus, and the vermillion border of the upper lip is referred to as Cupid's bow.

Infectious mononucleosis is known as “kissing disease,” “kissing” lesions have been described in Zoon balanitis and electrical burns, and the ideal apposition of wound edges has been described as that of a “social kiss.” Ecchymoses on the neck are known as “love bites,” and, somewhat less desirably, those with excess abdominal adiposity are said to have “love handles.”

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