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December 1960

Geographic Dermatology: Mexico and Central America: The Influence of Geographic Factors on Skin Diseases

Author Affiliations

New York

From the Department of Dermatology and Syphilology of the New York University Post-Graduate Medical School (Dr. Marion B. Sulzberger, Chairman) and the Service of Dermatology and Syphilology of Bellevue Hospital (Dr. Morris Leider, Chief of Service).

Arch Dermatol. 1960;82(6):870-893. doi:10.1001/archderm.1960.01580060024004

Geographical factors, in their broad sense, affect the ecology of skin diseases.

Jacques M. May1 has stated that ``geography is not just that study of landforms, it is also the study of . . . climate . . . soils . . . plants . . . and the society of men who have established themselves on these landmasses."

The altitude, humidity, vegetation, rainfall, winds, sunlight, and fauna, are, in some instances, important factors in the distribution, incidence, and clinical varieties of skin diseases. So are the personal factors, the race, sex, age, and socioeconomic status.

The occupation, whether rural or urban, the living quarters, the general hygiene facilities and habits, and especially, the diet dictated by the socioeconomic status, are of paramount importance in the development of some skin diseases.

In dermatology very little interest has been shown in this subject, with the exception of valuable contributions of Marchionini, Simons, Desai, and others. Sauer,2 in his textbook, presents a