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In 1919, E. Hoffmann introduced into medicine the concept of esophylaxis. He means by this term a defensive function of the skin which protects the body as a whole. Hoffmann emphasizes the importance of cutaneous reactions for the protection of the internal structures of the body. This concept has assumed increasing significance in many questions of pathology and therapy during the last several years. In the following pages I purpose to show how mechanical, thermal, actinic and bacterial stimuli acting on or in the skin may be of importance in the problem, and how through our newer views of the anatomy and physiology of the skin it is possible to explain the nature of such esophylactic action.
ANATOMIC AND PHYSIOLOGIC REMARKS
The Epithelium of the Skin.—
As is well known, the skin is a mixed tissue. The epidermis is derived from the ectoderm; from the mesoderm are derived the connective
MEMMESHEIMER AM. SIGNIFICANCE OF CUTANEOUS STIMULI FOR PROTECTION OF THE BODY AGAINST INFECTION. Arch Derm Syphilol. 1926;14(1):4–11. doi:10.1001/archderm.1926.02370190017002