Indian Journal of Dermatology
: 2022  |  Volume : 67  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 279--282

Toponyms in dermatology

Heera Ramesh1, Sachin Somashekar2,  
1 Department of Dermatology, Venereology and Leprosy, Karnataka Institute of Medical Sciences, Hubli, Karnataka, India
2 Gulbarga Institute of Medical Sciences, Kalaburagi, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Heera Ramesh
PB Road, Vidyanagar, Hubli - 580 022, Karnataka


The term toponym means any name that is derived from a place name. Numerous dermatological conditions have their names derived from geographic places. Although most conditions may have some association to the place they have been derived from, some of them are fortuitous.

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Ramesh H, Somashekar S. Toponyms in dermatology.Indian J Dermatol 2022;67:279-282

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Ramesh H, Somashekar S. Toponyms in dermatology. Indian J Dermatol [serial online] 2022 [cited 2022 Nov 29 ];67:279-282
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The term toponym means any name that is derived from a place name. Numerous dermatological conditions have their names derived from geographic places. Although most conditions may have some association with the place they have been derived from, some of them are fortuitous. Here is a list of toponyms with explanations. Here, we have compiled a list of toponyms through the literature search in various dermatology dictionaries, textbooks and PubMed databases.

Acroangiodermatitis of Mali: The term was first introduced by Mali et al. in 1965. Mali is also a country in West Africa. Acroangiodermatitis (synonym pseudo-Kaposi sarcoma) is an angioproliferative entity, usually related to chronic venous insufficiency or arteriovenous malformations of the legs.[1]African Endemic Kaposi sarcoma: It is a type of Kaposi sarcoma that is endemic to Africa, characterized by nodular, florid, infiltrative and lymphadenopathic types. It predominantly affects children and young adults and follows a fulminant course.[2]African eye worm infection: It is an infection caused by a nematode, loa loa and hence also called loiasis. It is prevalent in West Africa and is characterized by pruritis and migration of worms under the skin.[3]African histoplasmosis: It is an invasive fungal infection caused by Histoplasma capsulatum endemic in central and West Africa.[4]African tick bite fever: It is caused by Rickettsiae africae, characterized by the presence of multiple tick bites, multiple eschars, lymphadenopathy and lymphangitis.[5]African trypanosomiasis: A parasitic infection caused by Trypanosoma brucei, which is transmitted by tsetse fly and is characterized by the presence of painful chancre on skin, later undergoes haemolymphatic spread.[6]Aleppo boil: Aleppo is a city in Syria and this is another name for cutaneous leishmaniasis.[7]American hookworm infection: It is a parasitic infection caused by Ancylostoma duodenale and Necator americanus. Cutaneous manifestations are present during the penetration phase and invasive phase. They usually present as papulovesicles to frank bullous rash at the site of penetration with localized to generalized urticarial rash during the larva migration.[8]American trypanosomiasis: It is caused by Trypanosoma cruzi, and this disease is endemic to rural areas of Central and South America. Characterized by three stages, cutaneous urticarial rash is usually seen in the first stage along with fever, lymphadenopathy, painful inflammatory reaction at the site of inoculation and ulcerated nodules.[9]Andean sickness: Related to the Andes mountain range in South America, this disease is also known as 'white leprosy' and 'valley sickness'. A skin lesion caused by cutaneous and mucocutaneous leishmaniasis presents as a skin ulcer which when cicatrizes leaves an ugly scar.[10]Balsam of Peru: Peru is a country in South America. Balsam of Peru is a resin that has been extracted from the bark of the balsam tree and used as antiseptic for minor injuries. It can also cause irritation or allergic contact dermatitis at the site of application.[11]Biskra button: Biskra is a city in Algeria, North Africa. Biskra button is a type of cutaneous leishmaniasis that is endemic to that area. Begins as a papule that enlarges to form a nodule that breaks down to form an ulcer.[12]Bruton disease: Bruton is a town present in England. However, the disease gets its name because of the mutations in the gene coding for Bruton tyrosine kinase. It is an X-linked recessive agammaglobulinemia characterized by recurrent pyogenic infections.[13]Burdwan fever: Burdwan is a city in West Bengal, India. The disease is also known as visceral leishmaniasis, endemic to this region. It is caused by Leishmania donovani and is characterized by earth grey color of the skin along with fever and Hepatosplenomegaly.[14]Buruli ulcer: Mycobacterium ulcerans causes widespread, painless cutaneous and subcutaneous necrosis. The lesion is called Buruli ulcer, after the Buruli region of Uganda.[15]Calabar swelling: Calabar is a city in Nigeria. Calabar swellings are transient pruritic subcutaneous swellings that are characteristic of Loa infection. It is prevalent in this region of West Africa.[16]Calcutta ulcer: Calcutta, now known as Kolkata, is a city in India. Calcutta ulcer is another name for cutaneous leishmaniasis.[12]Congo red stain: Congo is a country in Central Africa. This stain is used for the detection of amyloid in the skin. With this stain, the amyloid will show apple green birefringence under polarizing microscopy.[17]Coast of California: The café au lait macules of neurofibromatosis have a smooth border which is compared to the smooth borders of the Coast of California.[18]Coast of Maine: The café au lait macules of McCune Albright syndrome have a rough and irregular border which is compared to the Coast of Maine.[18]Cronkhite-Canada syndrome: This syndrome gets its name from its discoverers and not from the country. It is characterized by polyposis of gastrointestinal tract and the cutaneous triad of skin pigmentation, nail dystrophy and alopecia.[19]Dead Sea regimen in psoriasis: Dead Sea is a salt lake bordered by Jordan, Israel and The West Bank. Dead Sea water is said to have therapeutic effect on the skin in psoriasis due to its high salt content of 33% and minerals. The main elements of this climatotherapy are intensive sun exposure and bathing in the sea water.[20]European blastomycosis: Refers to cryptococcosis, which is a fungal infection caused by Crytococcus neoformans. Cutaneous lesions include umbilicated papules, pustules, crusted plaques, nodules and ulcers.[21]Gambian trypanosomiasis: Gambia is a country in West Africa. Gambian trypanosomiasis is endemic to this region, characterized by Trypanosoma brucei gambiense characterized by drowsiness, splenomegaly and cutaneous findings include an initial chancre.[22]Haverhill fever: Haverhill is a city in the United States of America. This disease is also known as rat bite fever that is characterized by intermittent fever, rash and joint pain that follows a rodent bite or ingestion of contaminated milk.[23]Hibernian fever: Hibernia is a Latin name for the island of Ireland. Hibernian fever is also known as TNF receptor-associated periodic syndrome.[24]Kandahar sore: Another name for cutaneous leishmaniasis. Kandahar is a city in Afghanistan.[12]Lahore sore: It is another name for cutaneous leishmaniasis and Lahore is a city in Pakistan.[12]Madura foot: It is a localized, chronic, suppurative and deforming granulomatous infection. It was first recognized as a disease entity in Madura (Madurai, India) and hence called Madura foot.[25]Mallorca acne: Mallorca is an island in Spain. Mallorca acne also known as acne aestivalis presents as monomorphic erythematous papules that are triggered by the hot and humid climate.[26]Malta fever: Also known as brucellosis. It is a zoonotic infection caused by brucella species. It can lead to various skin manifestations like papules, nodules, petechiae, purpura, ulcers, abscesses, and so on. Malta is a country in Europe to which this disease is endemic.[27]Marseilles fever: Is a rickettsial infection caused by ixodid tick endemic to the Mediterranean region. It is also known as Mediterranean spotted fever. Marseille is a city in France.[28]Mediterranean familial fever: It is a genetic autoinflammatory disorder characterized by recurrent peritonitis, pleuritis, fever, arthritis and a characteristic ankle rash.[29]Morbihan disease: Is characterized clinically by erythematous edema localized to the forehead, cheek, glabella and eyelids. It gets its name from the region Morbihan (France) from which the first patient of this disease hailed from.[30]North American blastomycosis: Is a fungal infection caused by Blastomyces dermatitidis. It starts at the site of injury as an indurated, ulcerated, chancriform lesion which is accompanied by lymphangitis and lymphadenopathy. It was once thought to be localized to North America but now is present worldwide.[31]Ohio Valley Disease: In the United States, histoplasmosis infection mainly occurs around the Ohio and Mississippi river valleys and hence is named after that region. Histoplasmosis is a granulomatous fungal infection caused by Histoplasma capsulatum.[32]Peruvian warts: They are red to purple nodules that are usually seen on the face and extremities seen in the cutaneous phase of Carrion disease caused by Bartonella bacilliformis. They are painless and prone to ulceration and bleeding. This disease is common in Peru, South America.[33]Rocky Mountain spotted fever: This disease was first discovered in the Rocky Mountain range in the United States of America. It is a tick-borne infection caused by Rickettsia rickettsia characterized by rash and fever.[34]Rose Bengal stain: It is a pink stain used in eyedrops to stain damaged conjunctival and corneal cells and identify damaged areas. It is named so because the pink colour of the stain resembles the forehead dot used by women from West Bengal, India.[35]San Joaquin Valley fever: Also known as coccidioidomycosis, is a benign infection caused by Coccidioides immitis. Rarely, it may become fatal disseminating to skin and other organs. It is said to be common in South Western America.[36]South American Blastomycosis: Also known as paracoccidioidomycosis, is a chronic granulomatous fungal disease caused by Paracoccidioides brasiliensis. This fungus is endemic to South America.[37]Volhynia fever: Also known as Trench fever, is caused by Bartonella quintana and the vector is the human body louse. Volhynia is a historic region in Central and Eastern Europe. Trench fever was said to have appeared first during the First World War. This disease observed as five-day fever among the German soldiers from the Volhynia province and hence was named so.[38]

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