JAMA 100 Years Ago Section Editor: Jennifer
Reiling, Assistant Editor.
JOHN B. ROBERTS, M.D.
Nasal deformity from syphilitic destruction of bone and cartilage is
a very frequent result of the tertiary stage of the disease. This disfigurement
varies in extent and character, but is always very noticeable because of the
importance of the nose in facial contour. The mental distress of the patient
is usually acute, because the disfigurement is associated in the public mind
with a loathesome and disgraceful disease. The fact that syphilis may be inherited
or be acquired in an innocent manner avails little in the public's estimate
of a person carrying ever upon his countenance the well-known mark of sexual
impurity. Nearly every other lesion of syphilis may be concealed from public
observation, or may at least be attributable to diseases of a less dishonorable
nature. The patient with the sunken or distorted nose of syphilis has, however,
scarcely any shield to protect him from impertinent scrutiny and the innuendo
that his tissues are contaminated with the scourge usually due to unchastity.
SUGGESTIONS FOR THE RECONSTRUCTION OF SYPHILITIC NOSES.*. JAMA. 2001;285(14):1816. doi:10.1001/jama.285.14.1816