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February 10, 1962

Skin as a Sensory Organ

JAMA. 1962;179(6):472. doi:10.1001/jama.1962.03050060082024

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Abstract

Skin has guarded jealously its biological mysteries and secrets and has given these up with great reluctance. A vast number of intricate nervous structures, partly autonomic and partly sensory, has invaded every level of the skin: the epidermis, the dermis, and the hypodermis, the hair follicles, the sebaceous and sweat glands, the smooth muscle, and the vascular elements are all entwined by these nerves. Since all cutaneous structures are notably different from region to region and from individual to individual, any attempt to attribute specific sensory functions to specific anatomical nervous entities is difficult.

The book's section on the anatomy of cutaneous sensory nerves is long and tedious. Too much space is devoted to philosophical asides and to concepts which are of little consequence. Descriptions and discussions of the innervation of the various cutaneous appendages are long, vague, diffuse, and confusing. There is no clear account of the distribution of

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