There are three reasons for bringing this subject forward. The first is to discuss the normal and pathologic exfoliation of the corneal and conjunctival epithelium. The second is to offer an analysis of the ocular disease which appears in dermatitis exfoliativa due to the arsphenamines, and to draw a logical analogy between the lesions of the eye and those of the skin. The third is to emphasize the danger of ocular complications in the treatment of syphilis.
The subject might well have included conjunctivitis exfoliativa. These terms are not found in the literature, but the lesions were so evidently exfoliative and so like the process in the skin that the terms keratitis and conjunctivitis exfoliativa were thought to be proper and descriptive.
In the normal skin there is normal exfoliation of the most superficial layers of the epidermis. Replacement of cells is constantly going on from the basal cell
KIRBY DB. KERATITIS EXFOLIATIVA COMPLICATING DERMATITIS EXFOLIATIVA (ARSPHENAMINE). Arch Ophthalmol. 1929;2(6):661–669. doi:10.1001/archopht.1929.00810020684005