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March 8, 1924


JAMA. 1924;82(10):797. doi:10.1001/jama.1924.02650360039015

The treatment of tuberculous patients by exposure to the direct rays of the sun received an impetus from the work of Bernhard and Rollier twenty years ago. Their attempts mark the beginnings of various aspects of modern heliotherapy. Finsen employed radiant energy in the form of a special arc light in his attack on lupus. The curative action of ultraviolet rays on rickets dates back only to 1919, when Huldschinsky reported the favorable results that he secured in the treatment of rachitic children with irradiation by the mercury vapor quartz lamp; while Hess and Unger first demonstrated that successful treatment could also be secured with sunlight alone.

Thus, therapy with various types of radiant energy has come rapidly into prominence and has tended to give unanticipated emphasis to the presumable importance of light in relation to human and animal welfare. There are indications that light can act in more than