Definition of Langer’s lines

Langer’s lines – The natural linear pathways, also called cleavages, of the fasciae fibers (connective tissue layer beneath the skin that covers the muscles) throughout the body.

Langer’s lines resemble a topographic map when overlaid on an outline of the human body. Each person has a unique configuration of Langer’s lines, though general patterns are common across individuals.

Alignment with relevant Langer’s lines is one of several factors a surgeon considers when planning an operation’s incision. Surgical incisions that parallel Langer’s lines tend to require less suturing and to heal with less obvious scarring than incisions that run counter, and particularly perpendicular, to Langer’s lines.

Wounds from cuts or punctures are often more severe when they occur in opposition to Langer’s lines, tending to gape and tear more than wounds that parallel Langer’s lines. The rash or eruptions of some skin conditions, such as pityriasis rosea, follow Langer’s lines.


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