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October 19, 1918


Author Affiliations

(San Francisco) Captain, M. R. C., U. S. Army CAMP CRANE, ALLENTOWN, PA.

JAMA. 1918;71(16):1276-1279. doi:10.1001/jama.1918.02600420018005

In discussing the etiology of lichen planus most writers have been content to enumerate certain generalities as to age, sex and environment, and to epitomize our ignorance in some such phrase as "the exact etiology is unknown" or "the causes are obscure." Of those who take a definite stand on the question, some hold the view that the disease is connected with infectious microbic agents or that it is due to a toxemia, while others believe it simply the outward expression of deranged nerves, a condition resulting from overwork, grief, worry or emotional crises.

VIEWS HELD REGARDING THE ETIOLOGY  In Great Britain, Norman Walker believes the anatomic appearances suggest an infective inflammation and cites a severe case of lichen in a professional golfer, inferentially indicating that the disease is not due to "nerves" because occurring in one who typifies the phlegmatic temperament; Malcom Morris, on the contrary, places lichen frankly