Lists > Words (etymology) > Eponyms


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There seem to be countless eponyms in dermatology and medicine in general. They are the hardest diseases to remember because the names mean nothing (they are not at all descriptive of the disease).  Many are listed here.  It is useful to see multiple diseases (or signs) named after the same person juxtaposed (this may help you remember them).



Auspitzs signwhen slight scratching of scaly lesion reveals punctate bleeding. This suggests psoriasis but is not specific


Blaschko’s Lines do not correspond to any known neurologic or vascular structure; probably represent the migration tracks of clones of genetically identical cells (therefore, may make one think of a mosaic phenotype of a genetic defect)        


pustular psoriasis of the Barber type pustulosis palmaris et plantaris        


Bazex syndromeAKA acrokeratosis paraneoplastica; a symmetric psoriasiform eruption that occurs in patients with tumors of the upper respiratory and digestive tracts


Borst-Jadassohn phenomenon: a term used to describe the presence of sharply defined nests of morphologically different cells within the epidermis; may be seen in seborrheic keratosis (clonal variant), hidroacanthoma simplex, and some cases of Bowen’s disease        


giant condyloma of Buschke and Lowenstein: verrucous carcinoma sub-type occurring on the glans penis        


Buschke-Ollendorf syndrome: Dermatofibrosis lenticularis disseminata and osteopoikilosis


Cockaynes syndromeAKA dwarfism with retinal atrophy and deafness;   large (Mickey mouse) hands and feet


Crowes signaxillary freckling in neurofibromatosis


Darier-White diseaseaka Darier's disease


Dariers signa finding in urticaria pigmentosa; stroking the skin over the pigmented macules causes an urticarial wheal


Darier-Roussy sarcoid        sarcoidosis of the subcutaneous tissue


Degoss disease                AKA malignant atrophic papulosis


Dennie-Morgan lines        a double infra-orbital fold, often seen in atopic individuals


Dowling-Degos diseaseAKA reticulate pigmented flexural anomaly (AKA “dark dot” disease); much like acanthosis nigricans but it does not become warty or raised


Dowling-Meara variant (of epidermolysis bullosa simplex) AKA EBS herpetiformis; the two characteristic features of this important EBS variant ore the presence of herpetiform blisters and, with age, the development of confluent palmoplantar callosities, reminiscent of acquired keratoderma        


Feltys syndrometriad of rheumatoid arthritis, splenomegaly, and leukopenia


Fitz-Hugh-Curtis syndromeperihepatitis in a women with a history of gonococcal or chlamydial salpingitis


Fordyces spots                ectopic sebaceous glands on the lips and thereabouts


angiokeratoma of Fordyce                on the scrotum and less often the vulva


Fox-Fordyce disease        apocrine miliaria;  usually axillary


Futchers lines                AKA Voights lines;  pigmentary demarcation lines seen in people with dark skin


Gottrons sign                violaceous flat topped papules seen over the knuckles in dermatomyositis        


Gorlins sign:        ability to touch nose with tip of tongue (seen in ED syndrome and normal people)        


Gorlin-Goltz syndrome        basal cell nevus syndrome (Gorlin was a dentist)


Goltz syndrome                focal dermal hypoplasia


Gougerot-Blum (BPP)        the lichenoid variant of benign pigmented purpura


Gougerot-Carteaud        confluent and reticulated papillomatosis


Jarisch – Herxheimer Reaction: transient reaction following antibiotic treatment of early and later stages of syphilis, and sometimes borreliosis (and others...); featuring fever chills, headache, myalgias, and exacerbation of cutaneous lesions believed to be due to liberation of endotoxin-like substances or of antigens from the killed or dying microorganisms        


Hallapeaus disease        acrodermatitis contiua


Hand-Schüller-Christiana Langerhans cell histiocytosis:  triad diabetes insipidus, proptosis, and lytic bone lesions


Heerfordts syndrome        uveitis, parotid gland involvement, fever, and facial nerve palsy


Hutchinson’s sign linear melonychia that involves the proximal nail fold and periungual skin
Suggestive of melanoma, therefore must biopsy (and include nail matrix)


Janeway Lesionspainless, macular lesions on the palms and soles in SBE (Jane wouldnt hurt anybody)  (see box below)


Kaposis sarcomaa multifocal tumor of vascular and lymphatic endothelium (HHV-8)


Kaposis varicelliform eruptiona complication of atopic dermatitis featuring widespread infection caused by HSV


Kaposiform hemangioendotheliomathis and tufted angiomas are the most common lesions to develop Kasabach-Meritt phenomenon


Kasabach-Merritt Phenomenon: hemolytic anemia, thrombocytopenia, and coagulopathy; a complication of rapidly evolving vascular lesions (most often seen in tufted angiomas or kaposiform hemangioendotheliomas)        


Klippel-Trenauny Paul Trenaunay: French Neurologist (b. 1875)-Weber port wine stain of a limb associated with limb enlargement


Koebner phenomenon AKA “isomorphic response”; development of new lesions in response to external trauma; characteristic of psoriasis and LP (also lichen nitidus)


Letterer-Siwe disease        the acute, fulminant end of the Langerhans cell histiocytosis spectrum



Löfgren’s syndrome the classic acute presentation of sarcoidosis; bilateral hilar LAN, erythema nodosum, fever, uveitis, and arthralgias; sarcoid that presents like this has 80% chance of spontaneous resolution within 2 years        


Majocchis granuloma        deep infection with Trichophyton rubrum resembling a pyogenic abscess


Majocchis disease        AKA purpura annularis telangiectodes


Marjolins ulcer:term used for cancers arising in sites of chronic injury or irritation such as scars, ulcers, and sinuses


Massons tumor: AKA intravascular papillary endothelial hyperplasia (= a relatively common lesion that appears to represent a distinctive pattern of organizing thrombus)


angiokeratoma of Mibelli:a form seen on fingers, hands, toes, and feet; the lesions have been aptly described as  telangiectatic warts


classic porokeratosis of Mibelli         one or few annular plaques with central atrophy and cornoid lamella


Mikulicz cells        a very large roundish vacuolated histiocyte containing numerous Frisch bacilli (Klebsiella rhinoscleromatis); seen characteristically in Rhinoscleroma



Miescher’s granuloma AKA actinic granuloma; annular elastolytic granuloma: appears like necrobiosis lipoidica but appears on the head and neck, hands, or forearms, commonly in middle-aged, non-diabetic women (a variant of the NLD-GA spectrum)        


Nikolskys sign                pressure applied laterally to the bulla results in extension of the bulla


Osler’s nodes painful nodules on the pads of the fingers and toes in SBE (pain may be explained by the vasculitic involvement of the glomus body in the fingertip) (see box below)        


Osler-Weber-RenduAKA hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia; autosomal dominant


Pastias sign linear petechiae characteristically found in the skin folds (especially antecubital fossae and inguinal area) in scarlet fever


Perry-Romberg syndrome facial hemiatrophy with morphea


Ramsey-Hunt syndrome herpes zoster infection involving the geniculate ganglion, resulting in blisters in the tympanic membrane and /or external ear and ear pain. Patients may also have tinnitus, nystagmus, vertigo, and hearing loss.


Sjogren-Larson syndrometriad:  ichthyosis, spastic diplegia, mental retardation


Sjogrens syndromesicca syndrome


Sneddon syndromelivedo reticularis with cerebrovascular lesions; in many cases can be attributed to antiphospholipid antibodies


Sneddon-Wilkinson diseaseAKA subcorneal pustular dermatosis; notable for its chronicity and recalcitrance


Spiegler-Fendt sarcoid        synonym for lymphocytoma cutis


Splendore-Hoeppli phenomenon radiating or annular eosinophilic deposits of host-derived materials, and possibly of parasite antigens, which form around fungi, helminths or bacterial colonies in tissue; antigen-antibody complex, looks like an asteroid body but not in a cell (seen in sporotrichosis )


Sturge Weber syndrome AKA encephalotrigeminal angiomatosis


Trousseau’s sign recurrent, migratory thrombophlebitis, affecting mainly upper extremity and trunk, associated with carcinoma of internal organs (esp. pancreas, lung, or stomach)        


Tyndall Effect preferential absorption of long wavelengths of light by melanin, and scattering of shorter wavelengths that represent the blue end of the color spectrum by collagen bundles. This explains the blue color of lesions such as blue nevus        


Vilonovas diseasevariant of erythema nodosum (erythema nodosum migrans)


Voights linesAKA Futchers lines


Von Zumbush: generalized pustular psoriasis; in pregnant woman = impetigo herpetiformis (often with with no history of psoriasis)


Woronoffs Ringas a result of ultraviolet light  and coal tar therapy  a white ring of vasoconstriction may develop in the normal skin adjacent to psoriatic plaques


Weber-Cockayne variantthe most common form of EBS, characterized by blisters largely confined to the palms and soles, which occur after trauma


Weber-Christiansonidiopathic lobular panniculitis


Wickhams striae        the white lacy lines seen on the flat topped papule of lichen planus




BOLD names are names that are included in at least two diseases  (especially if not alphabetically juxtaposed)




Heberdens and Bouchards nodes:

posterolateral bony outgrowths affecting DIP or PIP respectively
associated with osteoarthritis
mnemonic = “half-back”