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November 1959

Unusual Eruptions Associated with Internal Malignant Disease

Author Affiliations

Edinburgh, Scotland

AMA Arch Derm. 1959;80(5):564-569. doi:10.1001/archderm.1959.01560230050009

Many years ago, Erasmus Wilson asserted that "cutaneous medicine is a branch of general medicine of no insignificant importance," and there is no doubt that we dermatologists are pervaded by a particular pleasure when we recognize that the patient's cutaneous lesions are the signs pointing to some general disease, such as diabetes or tuberculosis. Especially we are alert to the possibility that an unexplained pruritus or that a trivial, nonirritating but persistent rash may be the first sign of malignancy, such as mycosis fungoides, Hodgkin's disease, or carcinoma of the colon. For example, in May of this year a man was referred to us with an extensive vesicobullous eruption, somewhat resembling Duhring's disease but mainly localized to the arm, thighs, and upper back, areas which had been in contact with sacks containing cement. Histological examination of an intact bulla showed that the rash was eczematous