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January 2001

Revised Terminology in Dermatology: A Call for the New Millennium

Arch Dermatol. 2001;137(1):93-94. doi:

Clinical dermatology has always been a descriptive and morphologic specialty.Our early predecessors depended on the naked eye as their instrument of descriptionand resorted to Latin terms to label diseases of the skin.1,2Consequently, we inherited a plethora of names of diseases with which we arestill intimately involved. Although the raison d'être for our specialtyis that dermatologists are morphologists, all disciplines in medicine havewitnessed change, and dermatology is not an exception.3To keep our specialty a scientific discipline, we must establish order inthe current use of dermatological terms and refrain from using the ambiguousterminology that has become part of our specialty.

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