Paul Gerson Unna

Paul Gerson Unna ( born September 8, 1850 in Hamburg, † January 29, 1929 ) was a German physician and dermatologist.


The son of Moritz Adolph Unna Hamburg physician and brother of the portrait painter Julie de Boor ( EXP Ploos van Amstel ) began to study medicine in Heidelberg, broke it but to fight in the Franco-German War, where he was severely wounded. In 1871 he resumed his studies in Heidelberg again, went to Leipzig later and eventually earned his doctorate under Heinrich Wilhelm Waldeyer in Strasbourg. His doctoral dissertation on the histology and developmental history of the epidermis (archive for microscopic anatomy, 1876) contained a number of new ideas and perspectives, some of which met with harsh criticism, so it was adopted only after a few corrections 1875.

He received his dermatology training in Vienna, where he worked with Ferdinand von Hebra, Moritz Kaposi and Heinrich Auspitz.

After his return to Hamburg, he worked in the office of his father, then in the hospital of St. George. Unna's main interest was the skin. Already in 1881 he opened a practice for skin diseases in Hamburg; In 1884 he opened a private skin clinic in Hamburg -Eimsbuettel, which he called Dermatologikum and in which he could concentrate on his specialty. His 1884 book published histopathology of skin diseases summed up the entire former knowledge together to skin diseases and made him one of the leading dermatologists of his time. He described skin diseases and developing new therapies. Among its new features is the use of Ichthyology, which he in 1882 and 1883 in the Monatshefte (each December) reported for prakt.Dermatologie and resorcinol against skin diseases (starting from 1886).

Unna explored the biochemical processes of the skin and first described the stratum granulosum. In 1894 he led the layer projection a as a method of skin examination.

1907 awarded him the Hamburg Senate the title of professor in 1908, he became chief physician at the Hospital Eppendorf. It was not until 1919 he was also a professor at the University of Hamburg and was the first chair of dermatology.

In 1927 he first described the Unna 's disease ( seborrheic dermatitis).

He worked closely with the pharmacist Carl Paul Beiersdorf.

Three sons Unna - Karl, Paul Junior and George William - were also Dermatologists, his son Eugene was a pharmacist.

In Eimsbuettel carries the Unna park its name and the Unnastraße in which the Beiersdorf AG has its headquarters.