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September 15, 2008

The Nikolskiy Sign

Arch Dermatol. 2008;144(9):1140. doi:10.1001/archderm.144.9.1140

In 1894, Russian dermatologist Pyotr Vasiliyevich Nikolskiy, MD (Figure), reported a mechanical phenomenon that would later be internationally recognized by the eponym crediting his name–the Nikolsky sign.1 (His name was originally spelled Nikolskiy, but it is more commonly referenced as Nikolsky.1) In 1896, his thesis on pemphigus foliaceus described the clinical finding, and his later work suggested that the underlying pathologic process was acantholysis occurring in affected areas as well as in areas with intact, normal-appearing skin.

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