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February 2014

The Men or Women Behind Nevi: Paul Gerson Unna

Author Affiliations
  • 1Università degli Studi di Milano–Fondazione IRCCS Ca’ Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, Milano, Italy
JAMA Dermatol. 2014;150(2):176. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2013.9197

An eponym is a person after which a particular place, object, discovery, disease, syndrome, and so forth, is named. The man behind the Unna nevus is Paul Gerson Unna. Unna nevus was called primarily “soft nevus” by Unna himself in his landmark work, Histopathology of Diseases of the Skin, published in 1896. Unna pictured a nevus that resembled an acrochordon: typically an exophytic, soft in consistency, papillomatous dermal nevus. Unna nevus is often regarded as a trivial nevus but “… no nevus is normal; all are pathological.”1

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