Published on | by redblob1
Really Really Old Psoriasis Images
Earlier this week I received an interesting email containing illustrations and old photographs of flakers dating back to the 19th century. All of them were taken from medical textbooks, which referred to it as “Psoriasis Diffusa.”
Bearded guy, 1856
This colour drawing of a flaky bearded guy comes from the “Atlas of Skin Diseases” by Ferdinand von Hebra. He writes that psoriasis is a case of “white scales piled up on top of each other.” I can’t really tell if he’s a bit depressed or his eyes are drooping from sleepiness. Posing for an artist can take hours!
Dishwasher hands, 1798
This intricate sketch of someone’s forearms is found in a book called “Cutaneous Diseases” by Robert Willan. What’s funny about it is that the caption says this “type” of psoriasis is only found on women who spend their time dishwashing and doing the laundry.
“Washer women, probably from the irritation of soap, are sometimes affected with a scaly disease on the hands and arms,” it says. If that’s the case, slap rubber gloves on me, gimme a skirt and call me Sally. I’m a man and my psoriasis also hates coming into contact with detergent!
Another bearded fellow, 1886
This photograph was taken when colour photography was still in its prime! Appearing in an album on skin diseases taken by George Henry Fox, it shows an unshaved gentleman giving the camera a whiff of his psoriasis. P provokes reactions of shock and horror even today– can you imagine how it was 150 years ago, when people had even less of a clue of what it was?
This one looks bloody painful. Taken by Alexander Squire, it’s another very early colour snap of psoriasis, this time of a young girl with atrocious patches on her legs. Let’s move on.
Lentil boy, 1899
This right-angle knee can be found in the “Atlas of diseases of the skin” by one Czech doctor by the name of Franz Mracek. A doctor with an obsession for comparing everything to food, including P. This image shows a 17 year-old kid with psoriasis “varying in size from a mere point to a lentil” says the text. To me it looks like a variety of grains. A rice kernel here, some red oats there.