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JAMA 100 Years Ago
May 21, 2003


Author Affiliations

JAMA 100 Years Ago Section Editor: Jennifer Reiling, Assistant Editor.

JAMA. 2003;289(19):2588. doi:10.1001/jama.289.19.2588-a

The popular name for certain yellowish or brownish yellow patches variously located in the skin has long been liver spots. Old school physicians have, as a rule, agreed with their patients as regards the designation of liver spots, though the newer school of physicians have been very much inclined to doubt the possibility of any connection between the liver and these localized pigmentations, and some have even deemed such connection entirely out of the question. In recent years much has been learned of their true character. When limited to the eyelids the patches of chamois or wash-leather appearance so familiar to the practitioner, have been called xanthelasmata. Other yellowish patches variously distributed over the body usually associated with some increase of the fibrous tissue of the corium, with some fatty degeneration of the overgrowth, and therefore deserving to have a hint of their tumorous character in their name, have been called xanthomata.