SULFUR has long been used in general therapeusis. From the very inception of dermatological literature, sulfur compounds and preparations have been recommended for the therapy of a great variety of dermatoses, particularly parasitic infestations and seborrheic dermatitis.
In the search for newer and more efficient substances in the topical treatment of the seborrheic dermatoses, selenium was considered for therapeutic trial because of its general properties and the group relationship of sulfur and selenium which was described by the periodic law of Mendelejeff. It seemed not unreasonable to suspect that similar and possibly more effective therapeutic properties would be exhibited if selenium were used in the conditions for which sulfur has proved to be of some value.
The immediate clinical application of a preparation containing a selenium compound was regarded with considerable reservation in view of the many toxicological effects of selenium abundantly described in the literature since 1842.1 On the