Our interest in arsenic as a possible cause of vitiligo was aroused in October, 1930, when we first noticed the development of multiple snow-white spots on the skin of a Negro man, following the disappearance of a generalized arsphenamine dermatitis. Since that time we have seen two similar cases of vitiligo, both in Negroes, after arsphenamine dermatitis. In each case there was an increase of pigmentation in some areas, as well as apparent total absence in others, giving a very striking clinical picture. Because of this unusual finding, we undertook a study of the retention and elimination of arsenic, together with intradermal tests, to determine, if possible, the rôle played by arsenic in the development of these clinical symptoms.
On analyzing our clinic reports of the cases, we found certain factors common to all three:
The three patients were full-blooded Negroes.
2. Each had areas of total absence of
CANNON AB, KARELITZ MB. VITILIGO FROM ARSPHENAMINE DERMATITIS AND FROM ARSENIC OF UNKNOWN ORIGIN: ARSENIC FINDINGS IN BLOOD, URINE AND SKIN. Arch Derm Syphilol. 1933;28(5):642–681. doi:10.1001/archderm.1933.01460050036004
Coronavirus Resource Center
Customize your JAMA Network experience by selecting one or more topics from the list below.
Create a personal account or sign in to: