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May 2013

A Female Pioneer—Doubly Recognized

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Dr Burgdorf is retired. Dr Hoenig is in private practice.

JAMA Dermatol. 2013;149(5):527. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2013.2777

Eponyms abound in dermatology, giving recognition to those who have advanced the specialty. Behind eponyms, there are often tales about physicians, patients, and the times in which they lived.

Can you name a 20th century dermatologist who has the distinct honor of having eponyms in both her maiden and married names? Bonus challenge: Identify a dermatologic syndrome named after 2 women.

Helen Ollendorff Curth (1899-1982) is an iconic figure in dermatology.1 As Helene Ollendorff, a resident in Berlin, she described dermatofibrosis lenticularis disseminata with her chief, Abraham Buschke.2 The syndrome features multiple connective tissue nevi and osteopoikilosis, a harmless sclerotic bone disorder. Today it is officially known as Buschke-Ollendorff syndrome.

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