It is an obvious fact that the surface of the skin has remarkable powers for freeing itself of the constant and ubiquitous organic contaminations by which it is beset. Just how it accomplishes this task and how efficient it really is, remains unknown. These studies were undertaken to help solve these two problems.
Although the broad outlines of these experiments and the ultimate goals to be achieved were conceived before anything was done, no attempt was made to follow a rigid program in the work. Some of the experiments being performed simultaneously were unrelated, except in their broader features, because the subjects were the material that happened to be available in the clinic at the time. It was felt that in the beginning it would be well to obtain as many facts as possible and to utilize these later by relating them in the hope that thereby some fundamental conclusions
CORNBLEET T, MONTGOMERY BE. SELF-STERILIZATION POWERS OF THE SKIN. Arch Derm Syphilol. 1931;23(5):908–919. doi:10.1001/archderm.1931.03880230084010