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JAMA 100 Years Ago
November 17, 2010


JAMA. 2010;304(19):2185. doi:10.1001/jama.2010.1639

Recently we called attention to the observations of Grawitz1 that too much indulgence in sun baths is prejudicial to the human organism and causes irritability and nervousness, cardiac and circulatory disturbances, and more or less serious dermal lesions. Recent observations confirm these findings and show that the skin and its appendages are peculiarly susceptible to the sun's rays.

During the past few summers there has been a widespread and growing tendency among young people to discard head coverings of all kinds, and to go about under the open sun bareheaded. Indeed in college communities, the bare-head habit has not been limited to summer, and it has apparently been considered modish to go about hatless in weather which caused older and less faddish heads to seek the shelter of furs and ear muffs. This custom has received not a little encouragement from the wide-spread belief, which is probably well warranted, that baldness is commonly caused by the obstruction to the circulation of the scalp by the pressure of hat-bands; therefore to escape this unwholesome pressure and at the same time to secure the stimulating effects of sunlight seemed an ideal method for insuring a permanent and luxuriant head of hair.

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