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Archives a Century Ago
June 2006

A Case of Mummification of the Skin

Author Affiliations


Arch Dermatol. 2006;142(6):676. doi:10.1001/archderm.142.6.676

was brought to the attention of the Society by Dr Hartzell. The patient was a bedridden, elderly white man, who gave a somewhat untrustworthy history of having had the condition for about twelve weeks. The affection consisted of an extremely dry, hard, thickened, and deeply pigmented condition of the skin of both legs and feet. A large circular ulcer was also present on one leg.

J Cutan Dis. June 1906;24:281.

From the 13th to the 17th century, entire mummies—wrappings, body, and all—were ground up and given orally to treat various ailments, to heal fractures, and to counteract poisons. King Charles II of England (1630-1685) rubbed mummy powder on his skin to absorb the grandeur of the Pharaohs.