[Skip to Navigation]
August 1955

Paul Ehrlich and His Impact on Dermatosyphilology

Author Affiliations

Monroe, Mich.

AMA Arch Derm. 1955;72(2):113-119. doi:10.1001/archderm.1955.03730320015002

To name Paul Ehrlich in connection with dermatosyphilology at once calls up his most important practical achievement, the development and introduction of "606" (Salvarsan, or arsphenamine). This drug gave the syphilalogist the most potent weapon devised up to that time against any infectious disease. It put him into the enviable position of being able to arrest and often cure one of the great scourges of mankind. That the administration of old arsphenamine and even of neoarsphenamine and later drugs required a great deal of technical skill and specialized judgment also enhanced the standing of our specialty in the profession. Our knowledge of syphilis in its many ramifications widened the horizon of our endeavors by emphasizing the systemic implications, not only of this disease, but of other cutaneous disorders as well.

The story of arsphenamine is common knowledge. As its practical usefulness is dwindling since the introduction