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January 1990


Author Affiliations

Professor of Dermatology in Harvard University

Arch Dermatol. 1990;126(1):33. doi:10.1001/archderm.1990.01670250039004

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IN the Journal of Cutaneous and Genito-Urinary Diseases for June, 1889, I published the account of a remarkable case of cutaneous disease, such as I had never seen before, and of which I could find no description in literature. It was characterized by concretions of epithelial cells, varying in size from the head of a pin to horn-like masses of half an inch in height, which had their origin within the mouth of the sebaceous glands, and occupied nearly the whole surface of the body. I called the disease, therefore, keratosis follicularis.

At the International Congress of Dermatology, held at Paris in August, a patient was shown as an example of an affection described by Darier, chef du laboratoire de la Faculté à l'hôpital Saint-Louis, in the "Annales de dermatologie et de syphiligraphie," July 25, 1889, under the title psorospermose-folliculaire végétante. The same affection had formed the subject of a "Thèse de Paris" by Dr. A. Thibault, May 8, 1889. M. Darier had previously made a communication upon the subject before the Société de biologie on March 25, 1889. The observations of these gentlemen, unknown to me before the meeting of the congress, were based upon two cases of the affection which had been seen at the Saint Louis Hospital during the preceding year. One of these was the patient exhibited to the congress, and the appearances he presented were identical with those of my patient, although the lesions in the former were far less developed in diversity and magnitude, as the duration of the disease was only eight years. I had no hesitation in pronouncing the affection to be the same as that described by myself under the name keratosis follicularis, and stated further that, although I was not prepared to deny the correctness of M. Darier's conclusions as to the parasitic nature of the peculiar cells found in the epidermal concretions, neither Dr. Bowen, who had made the microscopic studies in my case, nor myself had recognized them as of such a character.

J Cutan Genito-Urin Dis.

January 1890;8:13-20.

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