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January 2001

The Wheal: To Be or Not to Be

Arch Dermatol. 2001;137(1):94-95. doi:

Sad to say, until a dictionary of dermatology equivalent to the Oxford English Dictionary comes into being, dermatologywill forever be a twiglike imposter, rather than an authentic branch of knowledge.—A. Bernard Ackerman, MD

It is astonishing that the current significantly different meaningsof the term cutaneous elementary lesions have receivedso little attention in dermatology journals. But it is precisely for thisreason that the renewed controversy regarding basic dermatological lesionsreflected in the ARCHIVES holds great interest.1-4The suggested elimination of wheal "from the listof basic terms"4 is worthy of comment. Inour opinion, there are also reasons favoring its preservation on such a list.Dermatologists have traditionally used a specific term to describe lesionsof urticaria except in French dermatology. The analysis of such a traditionmay contribute to a better understanding of this controversy.5

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