Lichtenberg Figures

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Abstract

The majority of cutaneous injuries seen in victims struck by lightning are superficial and heal without sequelae. Common cutaneous findings associated with lightning strike include punctate full-thickness burns, linear charring, and contact burns from overlying metal objects. Branching or ferning marks are an uncommon and unusual cutaneous manifestation. These ferning patterns are called Lichtenberg figures. Similar-appearing electrical phenomena were first noted by an 18th-century physicist of the same name. A case report with review of the literature is presented. The histopathologic features of the figures are described for the first time.

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