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April 1938


Author Affiliations


Arch Derm Syphilol. 1938;37(4):650-659. doi:10.1001/archderm.1938.01480100103009

"Le coeur a ses raisons que la raison ne connait pas."—Blaise Pascal

In a recent publication1 I reviewed data concerning the psychogenic aspects of somatic reactions expressed cutaneously and the various diseases of the skin believed to be psychogenic. Properly speaking, one cannot label a cutaneous disease psychogenic, since there are no features indicative of psychogenesis. The application of the term to diseases of the skin is based on a post hoc conclusion.

In a study of the psychogenesis of diseases of the skin the occurrence of various cutaneous reactions and, indeed, of cutaneous diseases following suggestion in hypnosis comes close to fulfilling the principle of inductive reasoning—"The same cause under the same circumstance produces the same effect."

Stigmas afford admirable material for the study of psychosomatic reactions, so far as the skin as an organ of expression is concerned. In the introduction to her volume on emotions and

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