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FOCAL INFECTION IN RELATION TO CERTAIN DERMATOSES

M. L. RAVITCH, M.D.
JAMA. 1916;LXVII(6):430-432. doi:10.1001/jama.1916.02590060030008.
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It is an unfortunate fact that we dermatologists have neglected the search for the true etiologic factors of the diseases of the skin, devoting our efforts more to nomenclature and classification. Recently there has been a change, and research into dermatologic diseases is being undertaken more vigorously now, both in laboratories devoted especially to dermatologic pathology and bacteriology and in the clinics and offices of the dermatologists themselves. Especial credit for this awakening is due to Billings and Rosenow, whose theory of focal infection has opened our eyes to the explanation of certain dermatoses whose etiology was entirely obscure a few years ago. Now that we have the key we can unravel many a mystery, trace relationships, and diagnose intelligently, whereas only a few years ago we had to fall back on the much overworked term "idiopathic" in the description of such cases. It is a very few years since

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