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April 1994

A Dictionary of Dermatologic Terms

Author Affiliations

Mobile, Ala

Arch Dermatol. 1994;130(4):533. doi:10.1001/archderm.1994.01690040141030

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For someone who relishes both words and dermatology, reviewing a dictionary is not a chore but a treat. There is the pleasure of renewing the acquaintance with old friends and the joy of meeting new ones.

I often tell students that dermatologic diagnosis is easy because it is a morphologic science where living gross pathology is seen in a mode denied to most other physicians, and dermatologic terms generally represent translations to English from Latin and Greek. However, our terminology also derives from German, French, Portuguese, Welsh, Anglo-Saxon, Old English, Dutch, Arabic, Danish, Swedish, Norse, Sanskrit, and also Cariban, Hindi, and Yoruban.

There are a few comments I quarrel with. Does zinc correct acrodermatitis continua? Does epiloia represent epilepsy, low intelligence, and adenoma sebaceum. Propionibacteria may be normal saprophytic flora, but their extracellular products such as lipase, proteases, hyaluronadises, and chemotactic factors are important in the orgin of acne. A

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