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April 1931


Author Affiliations

Attending Dermatologist, Beth Israel Hospital; Associate Dermatologist, Mount Sinai and Montefiore Hospitals; Adjunct Dermatologist, Beth Israel Hospital; Assistant Attending Dermatologist, University and Bellevue Hospital Medical Clinic NEW YORK

From the Departments of Dermatology and Syphilology, Mount Sinai and Beth Israel Hospitals.

Arch Derm Syphilol. 1931;23(4):614-623. doi:10.1001/archderm.1931.03880220016002

That evil spirits sought to escape from the body by the medium of skin eruptions was an ancient belief. Evidence of this attitude of mind is found in folk lore of many primitive peoples and also in inscriptions that form their written history.

Since evil spirits were seeking to escape, treatment for the skin disease was deemed unwise, for it served but to drive back these evil forces, and they wreaked their vengeance on the inner and vital organs. Even among some mothers today the same belief persists. Treatment for a skin disease may "drive it in," they claim.

Physicians have described apparent constitutional improvement coincident with the appearance of the eruption during the course of exanthems. The case histories given by physicians point to these facts: 1. In exanthems, an intense eruption is often followed by a mild course and infrequent sequelae. 2. A mild, cutaneous reaction is apt

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