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Picture of the Month

Oussama Itani, MD; Ruth Crump, MD; Francis Mimouni, MD; Walter W. Tunnessen Jr, MD
Am J Dis Child. 1992;146(4):425-426. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1992.02160160045011.
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Denouement and Discussion 

Ritter's Disease (Neonatal Staphylococcal Scalded Skin Syndrome) 

Historical Background  Baron Gotfried Ritter von Rittershain was the first to describe this dramatic exfoliative disease of newborns, having done so in 1878.1 During a 10-year period, 297 cases occurred in the orphanage in Prague, Czechoslovakia, where he served as physician. He labeled the disorder dermatitis exfoliativa neonatorum, but was unsure of its cause. In 1956, Lyell2 renewed attention to this striking disorder, which he described as resembling scalding. Not until 1970, however, did Melish and Glasgow3 demonstrate in newborn mice that Staphylococcus aureus, particularly


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