Section : History & Terminology

What did Dr Hutchinson describe ?

  • Teeth deformities in congenital syphilis ?
    • Yes, Hutchinson’s
    • as well as the triad of signs he considered pathognomic: notched teeth, 8th nerve deafness, interstitial keratitis.
  • Lentigo Maligna ?
    • Yes, called Hutchinson’s melanotic freckle (HMF) by Australian dermatologists.
  • A sign of nail melanoma ?
    • Yes, called Hutchinson’s sign (when pigment is present  on the proximal nail fold as a sign of melanoma)
  • So many descriptions for one dermatologist…well actually in fact a British medical doctor, surgeon, ophtalmologist, syphiologist, pathologist with an encyclopedic knowledge of medicine who lived from 1828 to 1913.
  • Dr Jonathan Hutchinson wrote over 1200 papers, and to our knowledge 14 signs bear his name
  • He also described arsenical keratosis, hydroa aestivale and angioma serpiginosum.


Dr Christophe Hsu – dermatologist. Geneva, Switzerland

Source of information: Crissey JT el al. Dermatology and Dermatologists (2002). Parthenon Publishing