This "truly wonderful and terrible disease," as Dr. R. W. Taylor designates it, was first described by Hebra and Kaposi in their "Lehrbuch der Haulkrankheiten," in 1870. A disease peculiar to early life, presenting polymorphous symptoms, chronic and unending in its course, indelible in its disfigurements, prone even from its benign lesions to destroy or impair vision, to more or less disfigure and destroy the nose, ears and mouth parts, and by its malignant new growths leading to early death.
Xeroderma pigmentosum is a rare disease; the primary article of Hebra and Kaposi was based on four cases only, out of the multifarious richness of their clinical material. Later, two cases were published by Geber, under the title, "A Rare Form of Nævus." In 1877 Dr. Taylor read, before the American Dermatological Association, a paper giving the history of seven cases of this rare disease; Dr. Heitzmann related a case
BRAYTON AW, BOWEN AH. XERODERMA PIGMENTOSUM. REPORT UPON THE PRESENT CONDITION OF THE INDIANAPOLIS CASES. JAMA. 1899;XXXII(17):917–921. doi:10.1001/jama.1899.92450440010002b
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