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January 1961

Impetigo Herpetiformis: Report of a Case Treated with Corticosteroid—Review of the Literature

Author Affiliations


From the Kansas City General Hospital.

Arch Dermatol. 1961;83(1):119-126. doi:10.1001/archderm.1961.01580070125014

Impetigo herpetiformis is one of the rarest of dermatologic entities. There have been only 9 cases1-9 reported in the American literature and around 100 in the European literature. It is doubtful that all of these cases satisfy the criteria for impetigo herpetiformis.*

Impetigo herpetiformis was first defined as a clinical entity by Hebra in 1872.10 The first reported cases were in pregnant women, and almost all of the patients died of the disease. Because of the relationship of impetigo herpetiformis to pregnancy, many dermatologists thought that impetigo herpetiformis was only a more serious variant of dermatitis herpetiformis of pregnancy (herpes gestationis). For several years, waged a "literary" war on those who claimed the 2 conditions to be distinct entities. Later on, some cases were found occurring in male patients, and the relationship to herpes gestationis appeared to fade away. Five of the 9 previously reported American cases occurred

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