In these days of book-making without end it is refreshing to come across something new. This little book now before us gives, in simple form, the general principles of the pathology, etiology, diagnosis and treatment of skin diseases. We are promised a second part in which the different dermatoses will be described. That will probably be more like the usual "manual"; this is quite different from any small book that has yet appeared, and is admirably adapted to impart to the student the general principles of dermatology. It is quite unique and thoroughly commendable.
We would especially note the following as specimens of the book: 1. That the youngest children of a family usually present the family predispositions to diseases in a far more marked way than do the older children, because, when they were conceived, their parents' bodies were then more thoroughly impregnated with the excrementitial products, and the toxines that produced the disease the children inherit, than they were when the older children were conceived. This does not apply to syphilis, which follows a reverse law. 2. That the multiple and disseminated lesions of seborrhceal eczema are due to the absorption by the skin of toxines produced upon its surface by the parasites that cause the isolated patches of seborrhceal eczema. These toxines being absorbed, poison the system and produce lesions, not like original ones, but like those due to internal causes. 3. That hydrotherapy is one of the most efficacious medical agents we possess for the treatment of skin diseases, specially in the form of the hot douche. If this is not attainable, a good substitute for it is squeezing a big sponge over the spinal column for twenty to sixty seconds at a time and twice a day. 4. It is absolutely impossible to classify skin diseases at the present time. Until we acquire more knowledge, it is well to divide them into six groups: 1. Deformities of the skin. 2. Artificial eruptions. 3. Parasitic diseases. 4. Microbic diseases. 5. Neuroses. 6. A group containing all the rest alphabetically arranged. As we increase in knowledge, the last group will grow smaller and the former ones larger, new ones, perhaps, being added.
G. T. J.
J Cutan Genito-Urin Dis.
Précis Élémentaire de Dermatologie. Arch Dermatol. 1993;129(8):950. doi:10.1001/archderm.1993.01680290022002