A port-wine stain, as long as it isn’t an unfortunate end to a party, is also discoloration of the skin caused by a vascular anomaly, named because it’s similar to the color of Port wine. A port-wine stain most commonly appears on the face but could appear anywhere on the skin, with the neck, upper trunk, arms, and legs also being common.
They start out pink, but will often darken into red or purplish colors. While usually harmless, they can be removed to reduce potential problems or bullying. The last leader of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev, had a prominent port-wine stain on his forehead.
You've Heard of Being Left-Handed
How about being right-hearted? This rare condition forms the heart on the right side of the chest, and it's called dextrocardia. There are a few versions of the condition. The first is dextrocardia of embryonic arrest, which moves the heart further right than normal, and is associated with many heart defects.
Then there is dextrocardia situs solitus, with the heart on the right side of the chest but everything else is normal. Dextrocardia situs inversus has the heart being mirrored on the right side. There are more still. Surprisingly, most of these versions of the disorder don't present a big list of problems. About one in every twelve-thousand people develop this condition.
This Little Spider Went to Market
Fittingly called “spider fingers,” arachnodactyly is a condition that makes fingers and toes abnormally long and slender in comparison to the rest of the hand and foot. People with this disorder also have thumbs that are pulled inwards toward the palm.
People with this condition usually have no other health conditions, but it can sometimes become linked to Marfan syndrome, Ehlers-Danlos syndromes, and more. It's possible that famous Russian composer and pianist Sergei Rachmaninoff had this condition or Marfan's syndrome. The condition has been linked to mutations in both the fibrillin-1 and fibrillin-2 genes.
Hair That Spins Both Ways
All of us have a whorl in our hair that helps determine how the follicles lie, which side is better to part on, etc. About seventy-five percent of people have clockwise whorls, while eleven percent have a counter-clockwise pattern. For the rest, there are increasingly rare options, including the double whorl, which is present in about five percent of people.
Old wives' tales say that it means a person is more intelligent, will develop a certain health problem, or any number of other things. However, there's no evidence to suggest any of these are true, not even the one about people with a double-whorl going bald faster.
Read the Writing on the Skin
Dermatographic urticaria is a skin disorder that affects anywhere from two to five percent of the population. It manifests with an allergic-like reaction, raising a red wheal on the skin when scratched or otherwise affected. It can be caused by a number of different things, from a higher number of histamine being released in the body to tight clothing or diet.
Usually, this condition is of no issue other than a neat party trick, but sometimes itchy red welts can last for anywhere from hours to days. Thankfully, that intensity is as rare as the condition itself.