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September 1977

Pruritus in Secondary Syphilis

Arch Dermatol. 1977;113(9):1295. doi:10.1001/archderm.1977.01640090143029

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To the Editor.—  The article by Cole et al in the April Archives (113:489-490, 1977), entitled "Secondary Syphilis Presenting as a Pruritic Dermatosis," reaffirms the teachings of the late and great Dr Simeon Landy, who for decades taught his students that follicular syphilid occurring in black persons was frequently an extremely pruritic disorder. A clinical and serological two-year follow-up of 100 cases of proved secondary syphilis (to be reported in detail shortly) revealed eight patients (all black persons) with moderate to severe pruritus.The article by Cole et al is but another step in the right direction toward updating the thinking about a disease that is so protean in its manifestations that it boggles the mind, and toward dispelling the antiquated dogmas of the past.

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