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November 1939


Arch Derm Syphilol. 1939;40(5):726-741. doi:10.1001/archderm.1939.01490050042004

"Pruritus ani et vulvae" is a phrase which designates the subjective symptom of a disease of the skin. This paper does not include the fleeting, nonrepeating pruritus ani et vulvae which may be experienced by any person. There is probably no other subject which commands greater interest among such a varied and large group of physicians. Many of the patients become mental and physical wrecks and acquire advanced changes in the skin before they present themselves for help.

A review of the literature reveals a number of classifications of etiologic factors and a wide divergence of opinions as to prognosis, treatment and end results. Roentgen ray treatment was unjustly condemned in several articles by physicians probably not familiar with its application.

The following citations principally cover the subject of pruritus ani. Bacon1 wrote, "The value of surgery in the treatment of pruritus ani is indeed problematical."

Hirschmann2 stated,