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June 2013

Take Your Pick

JAMA Dermatol. 2013;149(6):767. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2013.487

There once were 6 great physicians named “Pick.” They were Jewish and practiced contemporaneously near one another. Their names are still mentioned in many eponyms. We honor the Picks and their important contributions to medicine and dermatology.

Of greatest interest to dermatologists is Filipp Josef Pick (1834-1910), who was professor and chairman of dermatology at the German Charles–Ferdinand University in Prague, Czechoslovakia.1 He and Moriz Kaposi were the most prominent students of Ferdinand von Hebra. Pick first described acrodermatitis chronica atrophicans but called it “erythromelia.” This late stage of cutaneous borreliosis is also known as “Pick-Herxheimer disease,” as Karl Herxheimer also wrote extensively on it. Usually caused by Borrelia afzelii, it is seen almost exclusively in Europe.

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