If in general medicine it is true that histopathologic studies illuminate the nature of disease and are valuable in diagnosis, it must also be true in dermatology. In skin lesions, however, overemphasis should not be laid on the diagnostic importance of the histologic specimen. We Americans are a paradox in science. With a flair for the practical, we are ingenuous as to the printed word, rarely tarrying to analyze it. In continental Europe sophistication is of such an order that what can withstand its analysis approaches soundness. But our mental geniality, and our embarrassment in the presence of abstractions, render us a prey to oratory and writing. We lack legitimate skepticism and, with little question, accept both what is acclaimed and the acclaimer.
The point of all this is that, so far as the value of cutaneous histopathology is concerned, two sets of factors should be examined: the claims made