Nicknames: sometimes they are cute or humorous or even a bit annoying. Sometimes they are based on a person’s conspicuous dermatologic feature. The following are among America’s most famous nicknames, all related to dermatology, with the stories behind them.
Al Capone (1899-1947), a US gangster who terrorized Chicago during the Prohibition Era, was known as “Scarface.”1 He obtained this nickname early in his career, during an incident at a Brooklyn bar where he was working as a bouncer. Capone insulted a young woman named Lena Gallucio and was slashed twice in the left side of the face and once in the left side of the neck by her angry brother, who used his pocket knife to inflict the scar-causing wounds. Paul Muni starred in the 1932 movie Scarface, loosely based on the life of Capone. In 1983, the film was remade using the same title and starring Al Pacino.
Burgdorf WHC, Hoenig LJ. Nicknames of Dermatologic Fame. JAMA Dermatol. 2016;152(1):79. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2014.3023
Monkeypox Resource Center
Customize your JAMA Network experience by selecting one or more topics from the list below.