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Article
July 1929

DISCOLORATION OF THE SKIN DUE TO MERCURY

Author Affiliations

PITTSBURGH

From the Pittsburgh Skin and Cancer Foundation.

Arch Derm Syphilol. 1929;20(1):27-35. doi:10.1001/archderm.1929.01440010035004
Abstract

With the report of W. H. Goeckermann1 in 1922, another etiologic factor of considerable value was added to the knowledge concerning pigmentary disturbances of the skin. He reported two cases presenting facial discolorations which resembled each other greatly. The skin of the eyelids, nasolabial folds, chin and folds of the skin of the neck were brownish gray or slate-colored. He remarked that, "at a distance of several feet the discoloration reminded one strongly of a dirty neck and face." The etiologic factor was determined by indirect evidence (as no biopsy was permitted), to be due to the action of mercury present in the face creams used by patients who were susceptible. Three years later, another report by the same author2 brought to light thirteen additional cases. A more extensive investigation, including one biopsy, showed the presence of a pigment in the skin, which was soluble in compound solution

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