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June 1975

Description of Skin Diseases and White Skin

Author Affiliations

Silver Spring, Md

Arch Dermatol. 1975;111(6):791. doi:10.1001/archderm.1975.01630180119020

To the Editor.—  For the last six years—as long as I have been a student and practitioner of dermatology—I have been negatively impressed by the tendency of so many authors to casually describe skin diseases in the context of white skin. For example, one reference1 describes pityriasis rosea as "... characterized by salmon-colored (my italics) papular and macular lesions...." Another2 refers to the same entity by saying: "In its classical form the eruption consists of discrete medallions often oval in outline, dull pink (my italics) in colour...." These descriptions would lead us to believe that pityriasis rosea does not occur in blacks and other peoples of color, but we know this not to be the case—don't we?If white skin were the norm on this planet, there might be some justification for exercising a literary license to cut corners for the sake of saving paper and ink; however, only

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