A 3-MONTH-OLD infant with poor weight gain (weight at presentation only 570 g greater than birth weight) was noted to have skin lesions on both hands and feet (Figure 1 through Figure 3). No explanation for the lesions was initially offered by the mother. Later, she suggested that they may have resulted from scratches from a ring.
Denouement and Discussion
Human Bite Marks
Unexplained injuries occurring in children should arouse suspicion of possible abuse. When a caretaker's explanation of injuries changes, the suspicion of abuse should be reinforced. Human bite marks rarely occur accidentally and are good indicators of inflicted injury.1 Bite marks found on infants may represent punishment for crying or soiling. Older children may be bitten in the context of physical assault or during sexual abuse.A human bite mark has a parabolic shape reflecting the shape of the human dental arch.1 No single tooth's impression
Fischer H, Hammel P, Allasio D, Tunnessen WW. Picture of the Month. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1996;150(4):429–430. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1996.02170290095016
Customize your JAMA Network experience by selecting one or more topics from the list below.