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February 1966


Author Affiliations

Royal Melbourne Hospital Victoria, Australia

Arch Dermatol. 1966;93(2):261. doi:10.1001/archderm.1966.01600200117026

To The Editor:  I wish to put forward a theory which attempts to explain the cause of psoriasis. This may be stated briefly—that there is a deficiency in the inhibitor or "negative feed-back" system which controls epidermal proliferation.The human epidermis is continually replaced by mitotic division of basal cells, as keratinized cells are lost from the surface. The number of mitoses per 1,000 cells has been studied, and has been tabulated by Rothman.1 This normal regeneration demands a control system by local or general influences.After injury to the skin such as stripping with cellophane tape there is a burst of mitotic activity in the epidermis.1 This change is common to all epithelial surfaces, and proliferation continues until the area has been reepithelialized and the typical architecture is reestablished.2 Rothman1 states that proliferation is induced by "as yet unknown mechanisms." Weiss3 has suggested that

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