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August 1947

CUTANEOUS DIPHTHERIA: Two Unusual Cases with Eruptions Resembling Lymphogranuloma Venereum and Ectodermosis Erosiva Pluriorificialis

Author Affiliations


From the Division of Dermatology and Syphilology, National Medical College, Shanghai (Chief of Service: Frederick Reiss, M.D.).

Arch Derm Syphilol. 1947;56(2):216-221. doi:10.1001/archderm.1947.01520080076008

DESPITE high frequency in China of diphtheritic infections of the upper respiratory tract, not a single case of cutaneous diphtheria has hitherto been reported. This fact may be understood better if one considers the large number of clinical manifestations which are caused by the bacilli. On the other hand, the importance of cutaneous diphtheria has been little stressed in the past on account of its rare occurrence, and because one seldom observes the typical false membrane type of disease on the skin. Moreover, it should be emphasized that the occurrence of a great many varieties makes even more difficult recognition at first glance of the true nature of the eruption. It is, however, of paramount importance, especially from an epidemiologic point of view, to suspect cutaneous diphtheria whenever a pustular eczematous ulcerative process does not yield to ordinary treatment, and when lesions show a preference for certain localizations.


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