To the Editor.—
In the November 1981 Archives (117:698-700), Lowe and Breeding stated that "Anthralin was first introduced by Galewsky as a therapeutic agent for skin disease in 1916 under the name `chrysarobin.'" Historically, this statement is incorrect, and it should have read ". . . under the name cignolin." A correct translation of the title of Galewsky's article,1 (cited as reference 1 in their article) would be "Cignolin [anthralin], a substitute for chrysarobin." Because of the renewed interest in anthralin therapy for psoriasis in recent years, we thought a reexamination of the early history of anthralin and its predecessor chrysarobin would be of interest.Chrysarobin is one of the extracts of Goa powder, a substance found deposited in the wood of Andira araró ba, a native tree of India.2 Goa powder had long been used by the native population in India for the treatment of skin diseases, especially of ringworm.
Steger JW, Hollander A. Anthralin and Chrysarobin: A Reexamination of the Origins and Early Use. Arch Dermatol. 1982;118(9):625-626. doi:10.1001/archderm.1982.01650210005004