Petr Nikolskii

Nikol’skii, Petr Vasil’evich


Born Apr. 1 (13), 1858, in the village of Usman’, now in Lipetsk Oblast; died Mar. 17, 1940. Soviet dermatologist and venereologist.

In 1884, Nikol’skii graduated from the medical faculty of the University of Kiev. From 1899 he was professor in the sub-department of venereal and skin diseases of the University of Warsaw. In 1915, when the university was moved to Rostov-on-Don, he established a subdepartment and clinic of venereal and skin diseases, which he headed until 1930.

Nikol’skii’s principal works were devoted to pemphigus, problems of skin physiology, and the pathogenesis and treatment of skin diseases. He noted the disturbance of sodium chloride metabolism in cases of pemphigus and described the easy separation of the outer layer of the epidermis in pemphigus vulgaris and some other bullous diseases (Nikolsky’s sign). Nikol’skii was one of the first to use the fever therapy of syphilis, and he was the first to study the mercury content of venous and menstrual blood. He established that injection of mercurials may cause deep abscesses. He was the first to describe a number of rare diseases of the skin, including generalized congenital acanthokeratolysis (1897), alopecia areata (1900), and rhomboid hypertrophic neck skin affections (1925).

Nikol’skii fostered and developed the ideas of nervism. A number of Nikol’skii’s works were devoted to the history of dermatology and venereology.


Prichiny kozhnykh boleznei. Warsaw, 1901.
Lektsii o lechenii sifilisa. Warsaw, 1905.
Rukovodstvo k issledovaniiu kozhnykh i venericheskikh bol’nykh. Moscow-Rostov-on-Don, 1925.
Bolezni kozhi. Moscow-Leningrad, 1930.
Sifilis i venerieheskie bolezni, 3rd ed. Moscow-Leningrad, 1932.


Torsuev, N. A. P. V. Nikol’skii. Moscow, 1953. (Contains references.)