The purpose of this paper is to call attention to a probable etiologic relationship between herpes simplex and erythema multiforme. This relationship was first called to the attention of dermatologists by the Englishmen Forman and Whitwell ten years ago.1 Since that time no confirmation of their observations has appeared in the American literature, and none of the leading American textbooks have even cited their work.
Erythema multiforme, at least of the herpes iris type, was first described by Bateman,2 in 1817. The first American communication was apparently that of H. D. Bulkley, of New York.3 In the twelve years preceding 1846 he had observed 3 cases. It was sometime later that Hebra applied the term "erythema exsudativum multiforme." Still later Kaposi called it "erythema polymorphe."
The etiologic concepts of erythema multiforme have been those of association with definite infections. Thus it has
ANDERSON NP. ERYTHEMA MULTIFORME: ITS RELATIONSHIP TO HERPES SIMPLEX. Arch Derm Syphilol. 1945;51(1):10–16. doi:https://doi.org/10.1001/archderm.1945.01510190015002
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