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July 1978

Enlightened Views on Freckles and Dandruff

Author Affiliations

Clearwater, Fla

Arch Dermatol. 1978;114(7):1095. doi:10.1001/archderm.1978.01640190073034

To the Editor.—  Thomas Edison's interests in medicine are not generally known. Yet as early as 1879, Sir William Osler, after having met Edison at a meeting, reported that "he [Edison] believed it would be possible to illumine the interior of the body by passing a small electric burner into the stomach."1Besides endoscopy, Edison was also interested in dermatological subjects, two of which are presented here. Both are conditions from which Edison suffered and so his interests are not wholly objective. Showing through the comments are a rare combination of imagination, erudition, and humor.First, on the condition of ephelides or lentigines, Edison states:I think freckles on the skin are due to some salt of iron, sunlight brings them out by reducing them from high to low state of oxidation—perhaps with a powerful magnet applied for some time and then with proper chemicals, these mudholes of beauty