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March 1953

MECHANICAL TRAUMA: A Study of Its Role in a Group of Skin Diseases Reputedly Influenced by Trauma

Author Affiliations


AMA Arch Derm Syphilol. 1953;67(3):278-283. doi:10.1001/archderm.1953.01540030041004

IN VIEW of the popularity of the subject of psychosomatic trauma in medicine in recent years, I have felt the urge to evaluate the other side, namely, mechanical trauma in certain skin diseases. This review includes an instance in which trauma is solely, partially, or questionably an etiological factor, and some suggestions regarding the prevention and modification of trauma.

The first class of diseases consists of those in which trauma, by universal agreement or definition, is the sole cause. These diseases may be divided into four groups.

Group 1 includes thickening and hyperpigmentation of traumatized areas, such as elbows, knees, and buttocks, produced by pressure and friction. These conditions need only be mentioned in passing, and are easily corrected by occupational adjustments, correction of mannerisms, or a cushion on a chair.

Group 2 are the factitious dermatoses. These fall into two general subdivisions. The first