feature of the month - October 2017

 Daniel Turner De morbis cutaneis


Daniel Turner’s De morbis cutaneis published in 1714 can be considered the founding text of British dermatology. Turner cites case histories to show that externally applied medicines enter the body through the pores of the skin. He also expressed the view that the foetus might, via a pregnant woman’s imagination, have various skin markings and deformities transferred to it. James Blondel (1666 – 1734) disputed this in pamphlets such as The strength of imagination in pregnant women examin'd: and the opinion that marks and deformities in children arise from thence, demonstrated to be a vulgar error (1727), and The power of the mother's imagination over the foetus examin'd  (1729). Turner replied in works such as The force of the mother's imagination upon her foetus in utero, still farther considered (1730), and Reply to Defence of XIIth chapter of De morbis cutaneis [power of mother's imagination over the fœtus]. All of these works are held in the Library of the RSM.


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