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December 1960

Perspectives in Ringworm of the Scalp: Treatment Through the Ages

Arch Dermatol. 1960;82(6):851-856. doi:10.1001/archderm.1960.01580060005001

The development of an antibiotic substance with anti fungal properties—griseofulvin—which can be administered orally and which has a systemic action, marks a notable advance in the ability of dermatologists to combat superficial fungous diseases.

Let us take a panoramic view of tinea tonsurans since it first showed its ugly head on the pages of recorded history. This scourge of children, which has defied conquest for 2 milleniums, has finally yielded to modern medical science.

Ancient History of Ringworm of the Scalp  According to Sabouraud,1 who studied the subject exhaustively, considerable confusion existed in ancient times concerning the exact nature of diseases of the scalp and of the bearded region. In the days before the development of scientific microbiology, it was not possible to precisely differentiate many diseases of the scalp. It is believed that Celsus (1st century) described favus in his encyclopedic De Re Medica, the first book on

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