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.
No home care needed for a short philtrum, in most cases. However, if this is only one symptom of another disorder, follow your doctor's instructions on how to care for the condition.
Call your health care 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 doctor 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 health care provider diagnosed a short philtrum, you may want to note that diagnosis in your personal medical record.
Jones KL, Jones MC, Del Campo M. Facial-limb defects as major feature. In: Jones KL, Jones MC, Del Campo M, eds. Smith's Recognizable Patterns of Human Malformation. 7th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2013:chap I.
Updated by: Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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