A short philtrum is a shorter than normal distance between the upper lip and the nose.
The philtrum is the groove that runs from the top of the lip to the nose.
The length of the philtrum is passed down from parents to their children through genes. This groove is shortened in people with certain conditions.
This condition can be caused by:
No home care needed for a short philtrum, in most cases. However, if this is only one symptom of another disorder, follow your health care provider's instructions on how to care for the condition.
Call your provider if you notice a short philtrum on your child.
An infant with a short philtrum may have other symptoms and signs. Taken together, these may define a specific syndrome or condition. The provider will diagnose that condition based on a family history, medical history, and physical exam.
Medical history questions may include:
Tests to diagnose a short philtrum:
If your provider diagnosed a short philtrum, you may want to note that diagnosis in your personal medical record.
Madan-Khetarpal S, Arnold G. Genetic disorders and dysmorphic conditions. In: Zitelli BJ, McIntire S, Nowalk AJ, eds. Zitelli and Davis' Atlas of Pediatric Physical Diagnosis. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2018:chap 1.
Sullivan KE, Buckley RH. Primary defects of cellular immunity. In: Kliegman RM, St. Geme JW, Blum NJ, Shah SS, Tasker RC, Wilson KM, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 21st ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 151.
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