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Dermatologic Etymology Distribution

Robert Denison Griffith, MD1; Leyre Falto-Aizpurua, MD1; Mohammad-Ali Yazdani Abyaneh, BSc1; Keyvan Nouri, MD1
[+] Author Affiliations
1Department of Dermatology and Cutaneous Surgery, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, Florida
JAMA Dermatol. 2014;150(12):1344. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2014.2554.
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A cutaneous disease can be classified according to its distribution (Latin. dis-, apart + tribuere, assign, allot → distribueredistribut, divided up).1 The distribution of skin disease may be described as follows:

  • Photodistributed (Greek. phōs, phōt, light +  distributed)1,2

  • Lymphangitic (Latin. lympha, lymph, + Greek. ἀγγεῖον,angeion, vessel, container, + -itic forming adjectives and nouns corresponding to nouns ending in -itis (Greek. forming names of inflammatory diseases -itēs)3

  • Intertriginous (Latin. interterere, inter-, together + terere, to rub + -osus, having to do with, inclined to)1,3

  • Symmetric (Greek. σύν,syn, together + μέτρον,métron, measure → σύμμετρος,súmmetrosσυμμετρία,summetría, agreement in dimensions, due proportion, arrangement)2

  • Asymmetric (Greek. a-, an-, not, without + symmetry)2

  • Dermatomal (derma + Greek. tomos, a small section, a piece cut off)1

  • Acral (Greek. ἄκρος, akros, topmost / ἄκρον, akron, end, extremity, or peak)1

  • Scattered few (Middle English. schateren, to shatter) + (Old English. fēawe, fēawa, from an Indo-European root shared by Latin paucus and Greek pauros, small)1,2

  • Scattered haphazard (Old Norse. happ, come about by chance + Turkish. zaraz-zahr (Arabic) → azar (Spanish) → hasard (Old French), chance, luck, dice)1,2

  • Widespread (Old English. wīde, over a large area + sprædan, to stretch out)2

  • Flexor surfaces (Latin. flectere, to bend + French. surface, an outermost boundary, outside part)2

  • Extensor surfaces (Latin. extendere, to stretch out) + surface2

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