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Editorial
September 2006

Reflections on Eosinophils and Flame Figures: Where There's Smoke There's Not Necessarily Wells Syndrome

Arch Dermatol. 2006;142(9):1215-1218. doi:10.1001/archderm.142.9.1215

Eosinophils were first described in 1879 by Paul Ehrlich, who recognized their ability to stain with acid dyes, particularly eosin. The distinctive tinctorial properties of eosinophil granules give these cells a prominence in stained sections that contrasts with their lack of diagnostic power and still undefined role in pathogenesis. Eosinophils may be seen in skin biopsy specimens from patients with various inflammatory and neoplastic disorders, but they are among the diagnostic criteria in a limited number of diseases, including Wells syndrome, angiolymphoid hyperplasia with eosinophilia, and eosinophilic pustulosis.1,2

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