We may not see them, but we need them. An estimated one hundred trillion microorganisms inhabit the human body. This includes bacteria, fungi, viruses, protozoa and mites. There are gut, skin, respiratory, bone and even nervous system microbiomes – and this may be an incomplete list. We are only beginning to understand how these microbial communities impact health and disease. Dr. Yoon Cohen has started a web site called Skin Microbiome that will serve as a repository for the emerging literature on this subject. Disorders such as acne, atopic dermatitis, perioral dermatitis, psoriasis, rosacea, seborrhea, seborrheic dermatitis, skin ulcers and many more appear to be caused or exacerbated by an … Continue reading
Keywords: scabies, transmission, Mellanby, fomites, beds In the early 1940s, scabies was an important cause of morbidity in the troops. Kenneth Mellanby did important, but ethically questionable, experiments on conscientious objectors to determine how scabies spreads. Interestingly, fomites do not seems to be a serious risk for transmission. I’ve attached a link to Mellenby’s report in the British Medical Journal from 1941. Scabies Transmission by Kenneth Mellanby Kenneth Mellanby died in 1994. His obituary is interesting.
MY SKIN has always been my weakest organ—hives, rashes, welts, acne, and itchy skin in reaction to foods, animal dander, chemicals, bug bites, and toxic fumes. So when I noticed patches of dry, rough, red skin on my lower torso in my early 50s, I accepted them as yet another sign of being oily above the neck and dry below. As the patches grew in size and number, I slathered on myriad flavors of lotions. Since no physician remarked about them during exams, I assumed there was no need to be concerned. In late 1999, I saw a dermatologist for a wart and asked about the patches. She offhandedly said … Continue reading
In 1991, I was asked to edit a section for the Archives of Dermatology on “social and political” issues in dermatology. This became a column called “The Art and the Calling” that addressed the medical humanities. It was short-lived since the editors were not particularly interested in the humanities. They preferred addressing the politics of medicine. “The Art and the Calling” received many positive comments and so, we will reprint the articles here and encourage our readers to submit new essays of their own. The International Journal of Dermatology has a section called “On A Human Scale” which publishes occasional pieces and I will help you to submit there as … Continue reading
In 2002, we had a section in the Archives of Dermatology called “The Art and the Calling.” This was a reference to Osler’s bon mot, “The practice of medicine is an art, not a trade’ a calling not a business.” One of the most memorable pieces was Megan Moore’s essay about Camp Discovery. We present it here for your edification. There is a place in Minnesota, a magical place, where everyone is beautiful. It’s not the moonlight, which scatters across obsidian northern lakes and filters down through tall, leafy trees into fractals of glimmer. It’s not the sounds, of the loon or of the sweet humid night breeze or of … Continue reading
The following piece was published in the Archives of Dermatology in 2002. (I was the editor of a section then on the art of medicine and this is one of the pieces I was most proud of. I’ll resurrect a few others for the Online J by and by. DJE) Going to See Jack Disaffected doctors are now, I have heard, a worldwide phenomenon. How can this be, given the satisfactions that the practice of medicine offers? Some say it is simply the burden of overwork; others, the microsupervisory and hyperaccountability culture of audit and appraisal; some even, the domination of our journals by impenetrable genetics and improbable epidemiology. The … Continue reading