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December 10, 1927


Author Affiliations

Adjunct Clinical Professor of Dermatology, Northwestern University Medical School; CHICAGO

JAMA. 1927;89(24):2028-2030. doi:10.1001/jama.1927.02690240020007

The chief object of the treatment of the vascular type of "birthmark" is the decolorization and leveling of the tumor so as to make it less unsightly. In rapidly growing vascular nevi, treatment may, in addition, avert threatened danger to life.

Various physical, chemical, electrical and actinic methods have been used in treating nevi. The principal methods, other than the use of radium are:

  1. Surgical procedures, such as excision, ligation and scarification.

  2. Intense heat or cold (the actual cautery or freezing).

  3. Injections, such as boiling water, hydrogen peroxide and tincture of iodine.

  4. Caustics (nitric, sulphuric and glacial acetic acids).

  5. Electrical methods (electrolysis or electrocoagulation).

  6. Actinic therapy, such as the roentgen ray or Kromayer lamp.

In selected cases, surgery gives excellent results. In the excision of certain types, such as the "cavernous nevi," there is some danger of serious and even fatal hemorrhage. The cosmetic results of surgery are usually inferior