Langerʼs Lines: To Use or Not to Use

Department of Surgery, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston 77555-0724, USA.
Plastic &amp Reconstructive Surgery (Impact Factor: 3.33). 08/1999; 104(1):208-14. DOI: 10.1097/00006534-199907000-00033
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Thirty-six differently named guidelines have developed as surgeons have searched for an ideal guide for elective incisions. Many surgeons prefer Langer's lines. These lines were developed by Karl Langer, an anatomy professor, from cadavers in rigor mortis. However, Kraissl preferred lines oriented perpendicular to the action of the underlying muscles. Later, Borges described relaxed skin tension lines, which follow furrows formed when the skin is relaxed and are produced by pinching the skin. However, these are only guidelines; there are many contributors to the camouflaging of scars, including wrinkle and contour lines. Borges's and Kraissl's lines (not Langer's) may be the best guides for elective incisions of the face and body, respectively.

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    • "Langer's lines describe the patterns of biomechanical anisotropy in human skin. Directions within skin and along (parallel to) Langer's lines have the least flexibility (highest Young's modulus ) [1]. We chose the volar forearm for these measurements because the Langer's lines are easily defined at this site to be parallel to the long axis of the arm [38]. "
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