Journal : Intercolonial medical congress transactions ; vol. ii.
Melbourne : Stillwell and Co., 1889.
Description : 977-980 p., [1 l.] pl. ; ill.: 1 phot. ; 25 cm.
Photograph : 1 albumen mounted to a printed leaf.
Photographer : Johnstone & O'Shannessy & Co. (attributed).
Subject : Skin — Ichthyosis hystrix.
The photograph shows a postoperative five year-old boy from behind. He is standing before a painted studio backdrop. Motivated by the failure of all treatments proposed for this very rare genetic disorder, Dr. Ryan put the boy under chloroform and dissected out half the thickness of a popliteal skin patch and thoroughly scraped the exposed layers with a Volkmann spoon. It was a bold procedure, but a follow up report published in volume 15 of the The Australian medical journal (p. 276-277) revealed that this intervention also failed. Twenty months later the spiny verrucous plaques had grown back.