What are the dermatomes of the head and neck?

Updated: Oct 13, 2017
  • Author: Stephen Kishner, MD, MHA; Chief Editor: Thomas R Gest, PhD  more...
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Answer

Answer

Below, Image 1 depicts and Table 1 describes the head, face, and neck dermatomes.

Dermatomes of the head, face, and neck. Dermatomes of the head, face, and neck.

Table 1. Dermatomes of the Head and Neck (Open Table in a new window)

Spinal Component

Skin Distribution

Divisions of the trigeminal nerve (cranial nerve [CN] V1, V2, and V3)

Most of the skin of the face, including anterior aspect of lower jaw (CN V3); the area of skin in front of both ears; superior part of the lateral aspect of the auricle (CN V3)

Cervical plexus (ventral rami of C2-C4)

Skin over the angle of the mandible, anterior to and behind the ear, the anterior neck and back of the head and neck; inferior part of the lateral aspect of the auricle and skin on medial aspect of the auricle; the lateral and anterior aspects of the neck

Greater occipital nerve (dorsal ramus of C2), third occipital nerve (dorsal ramus of C3), and the posterior divisions of C4-C6

The posterior aspect of the head (C2) and neck (C3) with C4-C6 innervating the back of the neck


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