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June 1961

THE SHOULDER-WIPING SYNDROME* (SKINNER'S SYNDROME): Inspired by Some Recent Erudite Articles in the Dermatologic Literature

Author Affiliations

Philadelphia, Pa.

Arch Dermatol. 1961;83(6):1017-1018. doi:10.1001/archderm.1961.01580120129039

To the Editor:—  Around the time of the winter solstice, that rara seu extincta avis, the sophisticated dermatologist, mingling in public gatherings with the citizenry at large, may become aware of a singularly strange, yet far from unique phenomenon. It consists of a gesture, simplicity itself, yet pregnant with a plethora of possibilities. This beau geste—if we may label it as such, as it has all the appurtenances of a tic, earmark of the repressed psyche of the neurotic—is a furtive one. It is common among the male segment of the populace. The soidisant fair sex, secure in its pulchritude, does not have to resort to these exhibitionistic embellishments. Watching with an unclouded objective eye, that forgotten tool of our professional armamentarium, the gesture will present itself as a brushing of the shoulders, employing 2 or 3, occasionally and perchance 4 wiping strokes with the palmar surface of the contralateral