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February 2015

Cupid and Cutis

Author Affiliations
  • 1Retired
  • 2private practice

Copyright 2015 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.

JAMA Dermatol. 2015;151(2):169. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2014.483

“Everybody loves somebody sometime.”

So began the signature song of the popular American entertainer, Dean Martin. This famous lyric describes a universal fact of life, something we all experience sooner or later: falling in love. The ancient Romans believed that Cupid, the god of love, shot an arrow which inspired passion in the wounded victim.

Being in love involves many fascinating biological and emotional forces that affect our bodies in many ways. Throughout the animal kingdom, courtship rituals often involve the skin. Two examples are cutaneous display behaviors and skin color changes, both of which are also found in romantically involved human beings.