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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 154

Dermatodendrosophy and dermatokarposophy – A bird's eye view

1 Consultant Dermatologist, Skin Clinic, Runwal Plaza, 41/12, Karve Road, Pune, Maharashtra, India
2 Consultant Dermatologist, Chirayu Hospital, Jaipur, Rajasthsn, India

Date of Submission30-Nov-2020
Date of Decision24-Feb-2021
Date of Acceptance06-Apr-2021
Date of Web Publication26-Aug-2022

Correspondence Address:
Paras Choudhary
9/20, Vidhyadhar Nagar, Jaipur - 302 039, Rajasthan
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/cdr.cdr_132_20

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Dermatodendrosophy is defined to describe the relation between dermatology and the trees whereas Dermatokarposophy describes the connection between dermatology and fruits. Here were are describing these two new terms, Dermatodendrsophy and Dermatokarposophy, in details.

Keywords: Albinism, dermatodendrosophy, lamellar ichthyosis

How to cite this article:
Patki AH, Choudhary P. Dermatodendrosophy and dermatokarposophy – A bird's eye view. Clin Dermatol Rev 2022;6:154

How to cite this URL:
Patki AH, Choudhary P. Dermatodendrosophy and dermatokarposophy – A bird's eye view. Clin Dermatol Rev [serial online] 2022 [cited 2023 Feb 3];6:154. Available from: https://www.cdriadvlkn.org/text.asp?2022/6/2/154/354740

  Introduction Top

Have you ever tried to recognize or correlate different patterns of trees, their barks or fruits with skin conditions? Dermatodendrosophy and dermatokarposophy are new terms denoting these relations.

  Dermatodendrosophy Top

Dermatodendrosophy is a new term coined by Christoph Loeser to describe the relation between dermatology and the trees.[1] He described various patterns and designs of barks of various trees which looks like the various dermatological conditions.[1] This is hardly surprising as the ancient Greek word “derma” was used synonymously for skin and for the bark of trees. According to him, the bark of a yellow pine tree reminds Loeser of lamellar ichthyosis, the yellow oak reminds of botryomycosis, red cedar of exfoliative dermatitis and Mississippi Hackberry reminds of pseudoxanthoma elasticum and acanthosis nigricans.[1]

Tropical forests of India are full of biodiversity. We found two trees with a striking similarity of their barks to two common skin conditions.

Karaya gum tree

The Karaya gum tree or Indian ghost tree is a medium sized, deciduous tree with a botanical name “Sterculia urens.”[2] It is common in most jungles in India and grows on rocky terrain and rocky precipices. Its fruit looks like strafish and seeds are liked by birds for fleshy covering. The tree grows up to 10 m in height and has a white papery bark. It becomes leafless during winter and its white bark gives it a grotesque, ghostly appearance-hence the name “Indian ghost tree.” The local names are Kagdol in Gujrathi, Karai in Marathi, Kavalam in Tamil, Kavili in Telugu, and Kulu in Hindi. This tree reminds one of albinisms or generalized vitiligo [Figure 1].
Figure 1: Karaya gum tree (Sterculiaurens) resembles albinism or generalized vitiligo

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Ain tree

The “Ain” tree or Terminaliaalata is a small ungainly tree up to 10–15 m in height, growing in deciduous forests all over India.[3] The trunk is more or less straight and it's timber is useful. The bark is brownish gray, rough, and deeply cracked. The local names are Ain in Marathi and Bengali, Asan in Hindi, Karamarda in Tamil, Saadar in Gujarathi, and Tani in Telugu. The bark of this tree resembles the appearance of the skin of a patient with lamellar ichthyosis [Figure 2].
Figure 2: Terminalia alata resembles lamellar ichthyosis

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  Dermatokarposophy Top

Dermatokarposophy (Greek: derma [skin], karpos [fruit], sophia [wisdom]) is a neonymcomposed to denote a connection between dermatology and fruits, coined by Cristoph Bendick. The association between surface of various fruits with patterns of dermatological diseases has been described. The surface of Snake fruit (Salaccaedulis resembles keratosis pilaris, Custard apple (Annonareticulata) resembles verrucae vulgaris, Durian fruit (Durian zybethinus) resembles ichthyosishystrix, Jack fruit (Artocarpusheterophyllus) resembles lichen spinulosus, Rambutan (Nepheliumlappaceum) resembles Hypertrichosislanguinosa andSoursop (Annonamuricatum) resembles livedo reticularis.[4]

  Conclusion Top

Morphology is the cornerstone of clinical dermatology. Dermatodendrosophy is a new term to describe the correlation between dermatology and trees. The design and patterns on the barks of various trees resemble one of dermatological conditions. Dermatokarposophy defines the relation between fruits and skin conditions. Tropical forests are endowed with a great deal of biodiversity. Many more such resemblances may become visible in a tropical forest if diligently looked for.

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

Loeser C. Dermatodendrosophy. J Am Acad Dermatol 2005;52:1060-1.  Back to cited text no. 1
Bole PV, Vaghani Y. Field Guide to the Common Trees of India. Bombay, India: World Wildlife Fund and Oxford University Press; 1986. p. 67.  Back to cited text no. 2
Bole PV, Vaghani Y. Field Guide to the Common Trees of India. Bombay, India: World Wildlife Fund and Oxford University Press; 1986. p. 3.  Back to cited text no. 3
Bendick C. Dermatokarposophy. J Am Acad Dermatol 2006;54:146.  Back to cited text no. 4


  [Figure 1], [Figure 2]


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