Value of Eponyms in Dermato-Trichological Nomenclature

Ralph M Trüeb
Skin Appendage Disorders 2018, 4 (2): 71-77
Traditionally, syndromes have been named after the physician who originally identified the condition. These are referred to as eponymous syndromes. Nevertheless, the term eponym is to be regarded in a broader sense, since - by definition - an eponym is a person, place, or thing after whom or which something is named. Accordingly, some eponymous syndromes do not refer to the physician who originally reported the condition, but alternatively to the indicator patient, a geographic location, or a historical, literary, or mythological context. The recent past has seen a shift towards naming conditions descriptively by symptoms rather than eponymously. When the syndrome name is formed as an abbreviation from the initial letters of the symptoms, it is referred to as an acronym. The use of acronyms has become particularly popular and is often taught as mnemonic device or used as mental checklist. However, the use of eponyms confers historical, literary, and cultural information that reaches beyond and therefore conveys the dignity of a broader educational background and understanding.

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