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May 1990


Arch Dermatol. 1990;126(5):593. doi:10.1001/archderm.1990.01670290035005

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Leprosy.—  DR. FOX presented a case of leprosy occurring in a boy eighteen years of age. The boy was a native of Mexico, but had been in this country for the past six years. When he left home he had a leprous patch on his right thigh. He had been under treatment in this country for some years, but the disease had gradually developed until he was put on chaulmoogra oil; since then his condition had gradually improved. The pains in the nerves, especially the ulnar, had disappeared; the hearing had improved, and some of the anaesthetic spots were going away. The size of the tubercles had diminished with the internal use of the oil and the external application of resorcin. He had taken about sixty drops of the oil per day, in divided doses.DR. MORROW said that leprous patients coming to this country from a leprous center were very apt to improve under improved modes of living and the more favorable climatic conditions, and it was extremely difficult to say what precise measure of curative influence should be attributed to chaulmoogra oil in these cases. He had observed a number of cases in which improvement had taken place in a remarkable degree where no internal treatment had been employed. He recalled the cases of three lepers, natives of the Sandwich Islands, that he had seen in the Pest-House of San Francisco. In all these cases a marked improvement had taken place under the influence of hot baths and a simple tonic treatment. Still, he by no means wished to depreciate the undoubted efficacy of chaulmoogra oil in leprosy. In cases where the oil could not be tolerated on account of irritability of the stomach, he believed that strychnine was a most efficient substitute.DR. BULKLEY reported that one of his cases improved steadily under treatment with nux vómica in increasing doses; the enormous quantity of sixty drops, three times daily, was once reached by the patient with benefit to the disease.DR. ALLEN said that he had used chaulmoogra oil in much larger doses than were generally used, giving as much as three hundred drops a day with benefit. Scarification would most rapidly remove the tuberous lesions upon the face.DR. PIFFARD had seen rapid improvement in leprosy from large doses of strychnine, but, as this treatment must be discontinued at times, then the chaulmoogra-oil should be pushed. He'believed that both the strychnine and the oil acted as bacillicides, and thus had a curative action.J Cutan Genito-Urin Dis.May l890;8:184.

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