|Description||Unna was a German physician who specialised in dermatology and was one of the pioneers in dermatopathology. He was born in Hamburg, Germany in 1850 and studied at the University of Heidelberg, Germany. He had to interrupt his studies in order to fight in the Franco-Prussian war, where he was severely wounded. In 1871, he returned to Heidelberg, Germany, and later went to the University of Leipzig, Germany, finally attaining a doctorate under Professor Anatol Waldeyer in Strasbourg, France. His doctoral work was on the subject of the histology and development of the epidermis, and was published in 1876. The thesis contained a set of new ideas and aspects that were met with hard criticism. They were accepted only after some corrections were made. He went on to receive his training in dermatology in Vienna, Austria, where he worked in cooperation with Ferdinand von Hebra, Moritz Kaposi and Heinrich Auspitz, among others.|
After his return to Hamburg, Germany Unna started working in his father's clinical practice, then in the Sankt Georg Hospital. His main interest was dermatology. He opened his own practice for skin diseases in Hamburg in 1881, and in 1884 opened the Dermatologikum, a private dermatological hospital in Hamburg, Eimsbüttel, so that he could concentrate entirely on the field. Also in that year, Unna published his first book, 'Histopathologie der Hautkrankheiten' (Histopathology of Skin Diseases), which brought together the entire knowledge in the field and which made him one of the most prominent dermatologists of his time. Besides describing all known skin diseases, Unna proposed new therapies. Among the innovations, in 1886 he proposed the use of ichthyol and resorcinol against skin diseases.
He investigated the biochemical processes of the skin and was the first to describe the stratum granulosum. In 1894 he introduced layer projection as a method for skin investigations.
In 1907 he received the title of professor from the Hamburg senate, and in the following year he became the chief physician of the Eppendorf hospital. In 1919 he became a professor at the University of Hamburg, receiving the first chair for dermatology. He died in 1929.
Contents: 'Uber Gelanthum', c1896