Ferdinand Ritter von Hebra

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Ferdinand Ritter von Hebra
Ferdinand Ritter von Hebra (1816-1880).jpg
Ferdinand Ritter von Hebra
Born 7 September 1816
Brno, Moravia, then part of the Austrian Empire, now the Czech Republic
Died 5 August 1880
Vienna, Austria-Hungary, now Austria
Nationality Austrian, (Austro-Hungarian)
Fields Dermatology
Known for Vienna School of Dermatology
Influences Carl Freiherr von Rokitansky

Ferdinand Ritter von Hebra (Ferdinand Karl Franz Schwarzmann [Hebra]) was an Austrian physician and dermatologist, (7 September 1816, in Brno, Moravia – 5 August 1880 in Vienna, Austria-Hungary). He is known as the founder of the New Vienna School of Dermatology, an important group of physicians who set the basis for modern dermatology.

Ferdinand von Hebra graduated in medicine in 1841 at the University of Vienna. He was influenced by Carl Freiherr von Rokitansky, one of the founders of modern pathological anatomy.

Ferdinand von Hebra wrote one of the most influential books on dermatology of all times, the Atlas der Hautkrankeiten (Atlas of skin diseases), with phenomenal illustrations by two of the leading medical illustrators of Austria, Anton Elfinger (1821-1864) and Carl Heitzmann (1836-1896).

In 1844 Ferdinand von Hebra discovered the cause of scabies.[1]

Semmelweis and von Hebra[edit]

An early supporter of Ignaz Semmelweis and the editor of a leading Austrian medical journal, von Hebra announced Semmelweis's discovery that handwashing with chloride of lime reduces the incidence of puerperal fever in the December 1847 and April 1848 issues of the medical journal. Hebra claimed that Semmelweis's work had a practical significance comparable to that of Edward Jenner's introduction of cowpox inoculations to prevent smallpox.

On 30 July 1865 von Hebra lured his colleague, Ignaz Semmelweis, under the pretense of visiting one of Hebra's "new Institutes", to a Viennese insane asylum located in Lazarettgasse (Landes-Irren-Anstalt in der Lazarettgasse).[2] Upon arrival at the insane asylum, Semmelweis surmised what was happening and tried to leave. He was forcibly subdued by the asylum's guards, and died two weeks later from a gangrenous wound, possibly caused by the beating.


  1. ^ http://www.whonamedit.com/doctor.cfm/708.html
  2. ^ Benedek, István, "Ignaz Phillip Semmelweis 1818–1865" published by Corvina Kiadó (Translated from Hungarian to German by Brigitte Engel), 1983, Druckerei Kner, Gyomaendrőd, Hungary; isbn=963-13-1459-6.
  • Shampo, Marc A; Davis, Mark D P (November 2006). "Dermatologists honored on stamps". Arch Dermatol 142 (11): 1489–92. doi:10.1001/archderm.142.11.1489. PMID 17116842. 
  • Pretterklieber, M L (July 1996). "Ferdinand Ritter von Hebra--founder of modern dermatology". Isr. J. Med. Sci. 32 (7): 584. PMID 8756989. 
  • Tappeiner, J; Holubar, K (September 1981). "[Ferdinand von Hebra: the man and his work (author's transl)]". Wien. Klin. Wochenschr. 93 (16): 503–6. PMID 7029925. 

External links[edit]


Regarding personal names: Ritter is a title, translated approximately as Knight, not a first or middle name. There is no equivalent female form.