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The decreasing incidence of syphilis in both general and specialized practices has resulted to some extent in a slight forgetfulness of various aspects of the disease. The occurrence of a cutaneous eruption may be dismissed lightly without insistence on a complete general examination, as well as on laboratory studies with special reference to serologic tests for syphilis. This is particularly true when a recognized entity, such as alopecia areata, is the presenting symptom. In former years practically every patient with spotty or patchy loss of hair was subjected routinely to serologic studies. Such tests were performed even though syphilis in true alopecia areata occurred as infrequently as in one out of every hundred patients. However, it is felt that even the infrequent appearance of such a case justifies the insistence on the performance of serologic studies on every patient with loss of hair in patches.
Report of a Case
Behrman HT, Wild ST. ALOPECIA AREATA DUE TO SYPHILIS. JAMA. 1956;161(8):726–727. doi:10.1001/jama.1956.62970080006016c
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