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To the Editor: The statement "The skin is the largest organ of the body" recurs regularly in the periodical literature of dermatology. It appeared most recently on page 487 of the April, 1958, issue of the A. M. A. Archives of Dermatology in the exhibit material entitled "Control of Emotional Factors in Dermatoses," by Robinson et al. It is a mistake which no amount of repetition will make true.
For what order of magnitude is the statement intended? Is it surface area? The surface area of the vascular tree is greater; the alveolar surface of the lungs is greater; the area of peritoneal surface just exceeds that of the skin. Is it weight? The musculature is weightier; the bony skeleton, panniculus adiposus, and blood are heavier. Is it volume? Again, muscle, bone, fat, and blood are more voluminous. Is it specific gravity? Bone is denser; tendon is equal in density.
Morris Leider. CONTROL OF EMOTIONAL FACTORS IN DERMATOSES. AMA Arch Derm. 1958;78(1):102. doi:10.1001/archderm.1958.01560070106022