Blog

Shingles: The Varicella-Zoster Connection…

Shingles, also known as Zoster, is caused by the reactivation of the varicella-zoster virus.  It is a herpes virus.  Following a primary infection with chickenpox (varicella) the virus settles in nerve ganglia and waits to express and raise trouble.  The risk of shingles increases with age and often is related to ganglion compression or injury… Read more »

Vitiligo: Leukoderma, Sins Against the Sun…

Vitiligo is an acquired pigmentary anomaly of the skin manifested by depigmented milky white patches surrounded by a normal or a hyperpigmented border.  It is an ancient disorder, first described in 1550 B.C….the Ebers Papyrus mentioned two forms of depigmentation that could be interpreted as leprosy or depigmentation resembling vitiligo.  In 200 B.C. the Indian… Read more »

Neurofibromatosis 1: Von Recklinghausen’s Disease…

Neurofibromatosis 1 (NF1) is also known as Von Recklinghausen’s Disease.   The neurofibromas of NF1 were first described by Smith in 1849 but Frederick von Recklinghausen was credited with the discovery and coined the name for the disorder in 1882.  NF1 includes more than 85% of all cases of neurofibromatosis.  NF2 is referred to as central or… Read more »

Proteus Syndrome: God of Shapeshifting…

Proteus Syndrome is also known as Elattoproteus Syndrome and elephant man disease.  It may be confused with Neurofibromatosis and the Elephant Man, Joseph Merrick, originally believed to have neurofibromatosis, is now believed to have had Proteus Syndrome.  To see images of Joseph Merrick click HERE.  In 1983 a German pediatrician named the syndrome after the… Read more »

Treating Warts: Clear Duct Tape Is Not Duct Tape…

  I received an Email from Dr. Michael Greger with a link to a video he did reviewing the literature on using duct tape for treating warts.  He referenced my letter to the editor on this topic and he did a wonderful job summarizing the failures in major medial studies attempting to assess the value… Read more »

Dermoid Cysts: Once Upon A Time…

STORYTIME:  I was in my office at Tripler Army Medical Center when Tony Bottini, a Neurosurgeon (now practicing in St. Paul, Minnesota, here is his LINK), came to visit.  He poked his head in the room and asked me if I would take a look at a child that the Family Practice doctors wanted to… Read more »

Keratosis Pilaris: It Feels Like Sandpaper…

Keratosis Pilaris (KP) in mild cases is limited to the posterior upper arms and manifests as a “horny plug” in each hair follicle.  It is due to abnormalities in keratinization in the upper lining of the hair follicle that collects, causing a horny plug. This gives it a very uniform distribution as shown in the… Read more »

Becker Nevus: A Manly Thing…

Samuel William Becker first described this nevus in 1848.  It has also been referred to as “Nevoid Melanosis,” “Becker’s Melanosis,” and “Pigmented Hairy Epidermal Nevus.”  It is a late-onset epidermal nevus that usually is not present at birth but develops just before puberty and almost all patients are males. It presents as a hyperpigmented, hypertrichotic… Read more »

Nevus Sebaceus: Of Jadassohn…

Joseph Jadassohn first described this nevus in 1895.  It is also referred to as organoid nevus.  It is considered a congenital nevus (mole) presenting as a yellow-orange plaque with sharp margins.  They are often linear and most often solitary. The scalp is the most common location (50%), but other areas of the head and neck… Read more »