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June 1992


Author Affiliations

Clinical Professor of Diseases of the Skin, St. Louis Medical College.

Arch Dermatol. 1992;128(6):880. doi:10.1001/archderm.1992.01680160170037

THE case about to be detailed has been placed under the caption "Lichen Ruber" in the belief that so long as the schools of Vienna and Paris continue to disagree as to the identity of the "lichen ruber acuminatus" of Kaposi and the "pityriasis rubra pilaris" of Devergie, so long as such clinicians as Kaposi will hesitate to recognize the lichen planus of Wilson as a distinct pathological entity, so long as the terminology of the chronic papular dermatoses remains in the present unsatisfactory condition; when such a gathering as was witnessed in Paris two years ago, as well as that of last year at Berlin, failed, after mature deliberation in definitely establishing the constitution and limitation of the lichen group, so long will it be best to consider these terms as representing not fixed entities, but as convenient working names for provisional groups of uncertain definition, which, with the accumulation of fresh evidence, will be reduced to orderly arrangement, or perhaps, in some instances, abandoned.

It is not possible to-day to give such a clinical description of any of these types (except perhaps planus), as would please all. That which would be comprehensive enough to meet the demands of some would over-step the bounds insisted on by others. One may therefore be pardoned for classifying obscure, chronic, inflammatory, papular affections which will not readily fall under either of the other accepted titles, as lichen ruber; there to be allowed to remain until further notice.

J Cutan Genito-Urin Dis.

June 1892;10:220-227.