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December 2022


Journal/Book: Reprinted from TIP LANCET July 9 1960 pp. 55-59. 1960;

Abstract: R. M. B. MACKENNA M.A.; M.D. Cantab. F.R.C.P. PHYSICIAN-IN-CHARGH OF THE SRIN DEPARTMENT ST. BARTHOLOMEW'S HOSPITAL LONDON E.C.1 * A lecture given under the title " The Dermatological Aspect of Certain Diseases of the Mouth and Ear " to the Royal College of Surgeons of England and the Institute of Laryngology and Otology an March 3 1960. MANY advances in dermatology in the last 30 years have been due to the great increase in our knowledge of the biochemistry of the skin in health and in disease. Until early in this century the skin was regarded as an integumentary structure having sebaceous and sweat glands appendages (hair and nails) an efficient sensory nervesupply and a complex of arterioles venules and lymphatics with some other features of interest such as the musculi arrectores pilorum. Keratohyalin and eleidin were noted and named during. the fast quarter of the 19th century (some of the early references are given in MacLeod's Practical Handbook of the Pathology of the Skin [1903]) and a study of the nature of these compounds was one of the first biochemical investigations in regard to the epidermis which attracted attention. During this century the realisation that biochemical investigation was important to the dermatologist received great Impetus from Bloch's (1927) work an pigmentation and from Lewis's (1927) observations an wealing and the release of H-substance. Since those days we have learnt that a great number of very complex chemical activities are constantly proceeding in the epidermis and corium and an the efficiency of these processes the health of the skin depends. When these activities are checked or become abnormal signs of what we call disease may appear. Many of these activities depend an enzyme reactions. For example in urticaria relatively large amounts of histamine or acetylcholine are released and the simplest explanation is that the wealing occurs merely because of some pathological process whereby an excess of either of these compounds is set free. ... ___MH

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