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A dermatome is an area of skin supplied by sensory neurons that arise from a spinal nerve ganglion. Symptoms that follow a dermatome (e.g. like pain or a rash) may indicate a pathology that involves the related nerve root. Examples include [[somatic dysfunction]] of the spine or viral infection. [[Referred pain]] usually involves a specific, "referred" location so is not associated with a dermatome.
 
A dermatome is an area of skin supplied by sensory neurons that arise from a spinal nerve ganglion. Symptoms that follow a dermatome (e.g. like pain or a rash) may indicate a pathology that involves the related nerve root. Examples include [[somatic dysfunction]] of the spine or viral infection. [[Referred pain]] usually involves a specific, "referred" location so is not associated with a dermatome.
   
Viruses that hibernate in [[nerve ganglia]] (e.g. [[Varicella zoster virus]], which causes both [[chickenpox]] and [[herpes zoster]]) often cause either pain, rash or both in a pattern defined by a dermatome. However, the symptoms may not appear across the entire dermatome.
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Viruses that hibernate{{Clarify|date=February 2012}}<!--Is this the correct word?--> in nerve ganglia (e.g. [[Varicella zoster virus]], which causes both [[chickenpox]] and [[herpes zoster]]) often cause either pain, rash or both in a pattern defined by a dermatome. However, the symptoms may not appear across the entire dermatome.
   
 
== Important dermatomes and anatomical landmarks ==
 
== Important dermatomes and anatomical landmarks ==
 
Following is a list of [[spinal nerve]]s and points that are characteristically belonging to the dermatome of each nerve:<ref>[http://www.asia-spinalinjury.org/publications/Key_Sensory_Points.pdf Key Sensory Points] from International Standards for the Classification of Spinal Cord Injury. June 200</ref>
 
Following is a list of [[spinal nerve]]s and points that are characteristically belonging to the dermatome of each nerve:<ref>[http://www.asia-spinalinjury.org/publications/Key_Sensory_Points.pdf Key Sensory Points] from International Standards for the Classification of Spinal Cord Injury. June 200</ref>
   
* [[Cervical spinal nerve 2|C2]] - At least one cm lateral to the [[occipital protuberance]] at the [[base of the skull]]. Alternately, a point at least 3 cm behind the ear.
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*[[Cervical spinal nerve 2|C2]] - At least one cm lateral to the [[occipital protuberance]] at the [[base of the skull]]. Alternately, a point at least 3 cm behind the ear.
 
* [[Cervical spinal nerve 3|C3]] - In the [[supraclavicular fossa]], at the [[midclavicular line]].
 
* [[Cervical spinal nerve 3|C3]] - In the [[supraclavicular fossa]], at the [[midclavicular line]].
 
* [[Cervical spinal nerve 4|C4]] - Over the [[acromioclavicular joint]].
 
* [[Cervical spinal nerve 4|C4]] - Over the [[acromioclavicular joint]].

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