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War Surgery and Medicine



By 31 March 1951 the total of skin diseases recorded by the War Pensions Board had risen to 2890, the bulk of these being from overseas service, including service in the Pacific Islands and page 701 elsewhere. For diseases of the areolar tissue there were only 60 cases recorded.

Skin diseases are the most unsatisfactory of all the lesser ailments. This is due largely to the relative lack of knowledge of skin diseases in general and the obscurity of diagnosis. The only skin diseases that seem to have been finally disposed of by the Pensions Department are:

Tinea: These cases recurred for a year or two, and some cases were very persistent, attending hospital for twelve to eighteen months. Most of these cleared up with X-ray treatment.

Tropical Sores: From the Pacific theatre there were many cases but these cleared up rapidly on return to New Zealand.

Of the cases still on pension there are many which seem to have developed an allergic condition and tend to recur. Many cases, again, develop skin disease some time after their return to New Zealand, but are granted a pension if there is any history of skin disease overseas, though the conditions may not be at all similar.