The destruction of the hair follicle in congenital dystrichiasis and in trichiasis associated with trachoma and other pathologic conditions of the eyelids causing entropion has long been an ophthalmologic problem. Michaels,1 an ophthalmologist, in 1869 first introduced the method of inserting a needle heated to white heat into the follicle to destroy it. This was effective but painful and dangerous. In 1875 he perfected and used with success the negative pole electrolysis instrument.
In 1878, at one of the first meetings of the American Dermatological Association, Bulkley2 suggested the rather barbaric method for treating hypertrichosis of inserting a razor sharp, two-edged needle into the follicle. This was then twisted to destroy the follicle. Often the needle was to be dipped into phenol first. Duhring,3 at the same meeting, suggested, perhaps facetiously, a triangular needle for the same purpose.
These methods were not popular, and the dermatologists rapidly
HAND EA. ELECTROLYSIS: INTRODUCTION OF AN INSTRUMENT FOR RELATIVELY PAINLESS TREATMENT. Arch Derm Syphilol. 1942;45(6):1094–1100. doi:10.1001/archderm.1942.01500120062006
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