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September 1942


Author Affiliations

Lieutenant, Junior Grade, Medical Corps, United States Naval Reserve; NEW YORK

Arch Derm Syphilol. 1942;46(3):419-424. doi:10.1001/archderm.1942.01500150085010

The following cases of epidermolysis bullosa hereditaria are reported because:

  1. This disease is rare.1

  2. In these cases it was mild and abortive and there were interesting pedigrees.

  3. In 1 case (case 1) the true diagnosis was missed for twenty-three years and the disease was repeatedly mistaken for a banal condition.

  4. This disease is significant for military medicine because it is disabling even when mild.

CASE 1.—History.—  J. W. G., 23 years old, a seaman, second class, United States Navy, was admitted to the dermatologie service of the United States Naval Hospital, Brooklyn, on Aug. 21, 1941, with the complaint of recurrent blistering of the feet of lifelong duration. The diagnosis on admission was fungous infection of the feet. The diagnosis of epidermolysis bullosa hereditaria was made first by Lieut. Comdr. M. B. Sulzberger. All historical data, except that of the complaint and its family trend, were irrelevant. The results of routine physical examination, except for that of the skin, were normal.The patient stated that as long as he could remember he had had attacks of blisters, often on the feet, occasionally on the hands and rarely on other sites, such as the calves, inner surfaces of the thighs and buttocks. The episodes varied in severity and were always worse in the summer and during warm spells in the winter. The patient's home was in the South (Alabama), and most of his life was passed there. On some occasions the attacks were severe enough to disable him for a short time. The patient himself noted that an amount of trauma that

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