Cutaneous Nerves of Head and Neck Anatomy
1. Supra-orbital nerve
2. Infra-orbital nerve
3. Mental nerve
4. Buccal nerve
5. Auriculotemporal nerve
6. Supraclavicular nerves (C3, C4)
7. Great auricular nerve (C2, C3)
8. Greater occipital nerve (C2)
Comment: Cutaneous innervation of the face is by the 3 divisions of the trigeminal nerve (CN V). The ophthalmic division is represented largely by the supra-orbital and supratrochlear nerves. The maxillary division is represented by the infra-orbital and zygomaticotemporal nerves. The mandibular division is represented largely by the mental, buccal, and auriculotemporal nerves.
The skin on the back of the scalp receives cutaneous innervation from the greater occipital nerve (dorsal ramus of C2); the skin on the back of the neck receives innervation from dorsal rami of cervical nerves.
The 1st cervical nerve (C1) has few if any sensory nerve fibers from the skin, so it is usually not shown on dermatome charts.
Clinical: The sensory innervation of the face is via the 3 divisions of CN V. Trauma anywhere along the pathway of the nerve, including that on the face itself (e.g., facial lacerations), can lead to loss of sensation. The innervation of the muscles of facial expression will not be affected unless a laceration also damages the terminal branches of the facial nerve.