One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Chronic direct infection of the skin with tuberculosis, causing dark red patches.
- ‘The rash was considered similar to the wound left by a wolf's bite, giving rise to the name lupus for the illness, derived from the Latin for wolf, lupus vulgaris.’
- ‘Next on the differential is cutaneous tuberculosis, of which lupus vulgaris is the most common type.’
- ‘Four years later, he showed that chemical rays had the opposite effect in the treatment of lupus vulgaris (cutaneous tuberculosis).’
- ‘In this way, light-induced high levels of nitric oxide might be responsible for the death of bacteria in the skin that cause lupus vulgaris.’
Mid 19th century: from lupus + Latin vulgaris ‘common’.
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