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Clinical Notes, New Instruments and Techniques
April 1962

Burrowing Hair (Pili Cuniculati)

Author Affiliations


Arch Dermatol. 1962;85(4):540-541. doi:10.1001/archderm.1962.01590040104021

Two cases of penetration of human hair under the skin have been reported in the literature.1,2 The clinical appearance has been compared to cases of larva migrans.

The hair is described as embedded in the skin. According to the dictionary, embedding is a histologic laboratory procedure, nothing more. The term does not adequately describe the superficial horizontal penetration of the hair into the skin by a mysterious force and without the consent of the owner of the skin.

The burrow (cuniculus) of scabies runs tunnel-like, horizontally and superficially. For this reason the term "burrowing hair" (pili cuniculati) is suggested for the disorder.

Embedding of hair has not reached the dictionary nor the textbook. Pili cuniculati eventually may.

A sewing needle can travel from one end of the human body to the other. A husk of grain proceeds downward in