All branches of medicine have made tremendous advances during the past two decades. Many of the advances in dermatologic therapy have been made in the field of physical medicine. New technics have been devised, old ones have been improved and new physical agents have been introduced into the armamentarium of the dermatologist.
To appreciate the importance of physical therapy in dermatology, one has only to peruse the agents employed in the treatment of diseases of the skin. Among these agents are ionizing radiations, especially roentgen rays and radium. Agents which emit alpha rays, such as radon in ointments and gases, thorium X in solutions and ointments and polonium in solutions, have been used to a limited extent. Encouraging results are being reported with the use of radioactive isotopes in the treatment of systemic diseases having cutaneous manifestations such as mycosis fungoides, Kaposi's sarcoma, leukemia cutis, Hodgkin's disease and polycythemia vera.