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Langer's lines

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

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  • Langer's lines, sometimes called cleavage lines, are topological lines drawn on a map of the human body
    • were historically defined by the direction in which the skin of a human cadaver will split when struck with a spike

    • Karl Langer investigated directional variations in the mechanical and physical properties of skin
      • he produced a series of diagrams depicting lines of cleavage in the skin and showed that the orientation of these lines coincided with the dominant axis of mechanical tension in the skin
        • correspond to the natural orientation of collagen fibers in the dermis, and are generally parallel to the orientation of the underlying muscle fibers
  • Langer's lines have relevance to forensic science and the development of surgical techniques
    • wounds against Langer's Lines have been described to have a poorer final cosmetic appearance compared to those along Langer's Lines


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