Irradiation has been employed in the treatment of dermatoses for many years. The indirect action of x-rays through nerve centers in the treatment of diseases of the skin, however, is comparatively new. Yet, the treatment of lichen planus by irradiation of the spinal cord and the sympathetic ganglions has developed many enthusiastic supporters in France. Moreover, it has opened new fields for investigation and has stimulated considerable discussion regarding the possible neurologic origin of many dermatoses of unknown genesis.
Concerning few diseases of the skin of unexplained etiology are there so many facts that seem to indicate a definite localization of the cause as there are concerning lichen planus. That the nervous system and, more especially, the sympathetic centers play an important rôle in its pathogenesis is suggested by the frequent occurrence of the disease in neurotic persons, often following extreme worry, violent emotions or mental fatigue. The association of
DRIVER JR. ROENTGEN-RAY TREATMENT OF THE SPINE IN LICHEN PLANUS. Arch Derm Syphilol. 1929;19(4):620–639. doi:10.1001/archderm.1929.02380220089004