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August 1943


Arch Derm Syphilol. 1943;48(2):143-150. doi:10.1001/archderm.1943.01510020002001

In 1938 Peck1 studied a case of Darier's disease in a man aged 25. It occurred to him that since the chief pathologic change is a follicular dyskeratosis, the disease might possibly be due to vitamin A deficiency. He therefore tried the effect of large doses of this vitamin and obtained considerable clinical improvement.

Before giving an account of the cases which have since been reported or those to be here described, it is well to consider first the cutaneous signs which characterize a vitamin A deficiency and second the tests by which this deficiency state can be assessed. The symptoms of avitaminosis A are of two main types, night blindness and a generalized epithelial metaplasia affecting the basal cells and resulting in hyperkeratosis. In the eye the terminal state is known as xerophthalmia or keratomalacia. In the skin the changes are most noticeable around the follicular orifices,