September 22, 1917


Author Affiliations

Professor of Dermatology, Georgetown University School of Medicine and Howard University School of Medicine WASHINGTON, D. C.

JAMA. 1917;LXIX(12):977-979. doi:10.1001/jama.1917.02590390027010

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The etiology of acne vulgaris is now firmly established. The disease is conceded to be due to the acne bacillus, although it is generally believed that the staphylococcus is responsible for the secondary suppuration. There can be no doubt that the first named organism grows much better in an oily medium, both in vivo and in vitro.

Clinically, acne occurs almost exclusively in those persons who have oily skins, and in whom there is evidence of overactive sebaceous glands. For years, it has been realized and taught that any treatment that would free the skin from this grease furnishes the best means of combating the disease. It is now well known that the Roentgen rays will cause a permanent atrophy of glandular structure; hence their use in acne is theoretically justified. From a practical standpoint, many dermatologists have reported good results from such treatments; but up to the present time,

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