On-line version ISSN 1806-4841
An. Bras. Dermatol. vol.87 no.3 Rio de Janeiro May/June 2012
Pioneers in Brazilian dermatology and the legacy of duhring
At the first regular session of the Brazilian Society of Dermatology held on March 1, 1912 (ABD, Volume 1912, No. 1-3), exactly one hundred years ago, Drs. Fernando Terra, Eduardo Rabello, Victor Teive, Werneck Machado, Adolpho Lutz, A. Austregesilo, Alfredo Porto, Moncorvo Filho, Teixeira Lima, Linneu Silva, Carlos Villela, Silva Araújo Filho, Caetano de Menezes, Gaspar Vianna, Paulo Horta, Dias da Silva, Mario Góes and Miguel Salles attended and found themselves immersed in a lively debate on an elegantly presented case of a patient seen at the dermatology clinic on May 23, 1911. The discussion then extended to include the origin, legitimacy and classification of dermatitis herpetisformis or Duhrings disease. The disorder was first described by Louis Adolphus Duhring in 1884 (Duhring, L. Dermatitis herpetiformis. JAMA 1884; 3:225-9). Dr. Duhring, a leader in US dermatology, was born in Philadelphia in 1845. This is one of the finest syntheses ever made of a dermatosis. This prolific writer and indefatigable worker was also responsible for describing pruritus hiemalis (1874) for the first time and for the publication in 1877 of "A Practical Treatise on Diseases of the Skin", the first textbook on dermatology to be published in the US, which was then translated into several other languages. Having accumulated a fortune calculated at one million dollars (which he donated to his university), Duhring died in 1913.