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May 1955

Erythroderma Desquamativum (Leiner's Disease)

Author Affiliations


From the Dermatological service, 7100th USAFE Hospital, Wiesbaden, Germany (Col. Harold E. Funsch, Commanding Officer); Dr. Crotty, formerly Captain, Medical Corps, United States Air Force.

AMA Arch Derm. 1955;71(5):587-590. doi:10.1001/archderm.1955.01540290027005

In 1908 Leiner1 described the peculiar skin condition among nursing infants to which he applied the name erythrodermia desquamativa. Since this first report, the foreign literature, especially German, has contained other reports of this disease. More,2 Haeckel,3 Schoenfeld,4 and Wittmann5 among others, have reported large numbers of cases. In the American literature, case reports have been scarce.6 So it is assumed that cases of typical "Leiner's disease" are uncommon or rarely observed in America.7

During the month of January, 1954, four cases of erythroderma desquamativum came under my observation at the Air Force Hospital in Wiesbaden, Germany. These cases were similar to the original ones described by Leiner; however, certain characteristics were different. These differences will be outlined below. This disease must be differentiated from atopic erythroderma, which it resembles most closely. These differences are shown in the Table. Cases

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