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August 1968

Syndactylism, Dyschromia, and the Arsenical Dilemma

Author Affiliations


From the Department of Dermatology, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia.

Arch Dermatol. 1968;98(2):107-110. doi:10.1001/archderm.1968.01610140005001

A Negro brother and sister are described in whom generalized mottled depigmentation ("raindrops in the dust") had been present for many years. The brother also had syndactylism and a flexural contracture of the hands. The sister had some palmar changes as well as esophageal stenosis. The subsequent development of a squamous cell epithelioma in the brother and Bowen's cell carcinoma in the sister suggests that the dyschromia could reflect either occult arsenic intake or a genetic defect. In either instance this pigmentary change may serve as another prodromal sign for malignancy.

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