Lassar, Oscar

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LASSAR, OSCAR (1849–1907), dermatologist. Lassar, who was born in Hamburg, opened the way to many modern methods of treating skin and venereal diseases. He was responsible for the introduction of electrophysical therapy for use in dermatology. Lassar developed the so-called Lassar paste, with a zinc and sulfur base. Until the discovery of cortisone ointments, this paste was the most widely used unguent for all types of skin diseases, and is still in use. He was a campaigner for public hygiene, established public baths and disinfectant stations in Berlin, and published various treatises on the subject, including Die Cultur-Aufgabe der Volksbaeder (1889). He founded the Berlin Society for Dermatology and the Zeitung fuer Dermatologie. In 1902 he became professor of dermatology at the University of Berlin. Lassar, who served in the Franco-Prussian War, was awarded the Iron Cross for bravery. He was also known as a writer of short stories.


S.R. Kagan, Jewish Medicine (1952), 416; Biographisches Lexikon der hervorragenden Aerzte, 2 (1933).

[Suessmann Muntner]