Pearls of Neonatal Intertrigo in Ancient Greek and Byzantine Medicine

Gregory Tsoucalas, Konstantinos Krasagakis, Constantinos Pantos, Marianna Karamanou


Objective. Confirmation of knowledge of neonatal intertrigo in ancient Greek and Byzantine medicine. Method: A search of Thesaurus Linguae Graecae was conducted with the following terms as key words, syggama”, xyggauma”, paratrimma” and ektrimma”.

Results: Ancient Greek medico-philosophers introduced therapeutic measures based upon herbs and minerals, while a similar therapeutic approach was also used by the Byzantines. Hippocrates of Kos (460-377) was among the first to introduce written instructions, also proposing preventive treatment with palliative and aromatic herbs. Cataplasms, thalassotherapy, and fumigation were used, combined with hygienic measures in the affected area. Chalk powder was also prescribed to absorb moisture.

Conclusion. The main principles in the treatment of intertrigo remain the same, celebrating the ancient Greeks’methodology and rationalism.


Ancient Greece; Byzantium; Intertrigo; Botanology; Paediatric dermatology

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