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April 1956

Pityriasis Alba

AMA Arch Derm. 1956;73(4):376-377. doi:10.1001/archderm.1956.01550040070010

In 1946 Dobes and Jones1 proposed the name ``erythema streptogenes'' for a scaling and depigmenting dermatitis seen most commonly in dark-skinned children. This is not a new disease, as it had previously been described in older texts under many names: impetigo furfuracea, pityriasis simplex, and pityriasis alba. Dobes and Jones believed that it was a streptococcal infection because they were able to culture hemolytic Streptococcus in five of seven cases, although sometimes several attempts were necessary to obtain the germ. Fox,* working on the same problem in 1923 and 1924, grew no bacteria. Pardo-Castello and Dominguez4 grew no bacteria but did grow an Aspergillus fungus.

With the advent of the newer antibiotic preparations there has been growing dissatisfaction with the name ``erythema streptogenes." The condition does not act like an infection. It responds to antibiotics no better than to the base without the medication.