Lesson #389: Syphilis Will Make Your Nose Fall Off

Turns out, my knowledge of what syphilis will do to a person is lacking. Because I have had exactly zero instances in my life wherein I have ever needed to know. You guys…untreated syphilis will make your nose fall off. Which is freaking bonkers!

Strangely, this piece of information came up twice today in a very short span of time. Once in an episode of The Young Doctor’s Notebook, which I finally got around to on Netflix after I read the series is based on stories by Mikhail Bulgakov*, and once in last night’s episode of The Knick. Thankfully, I’d watched the former before the latter, so when a character showed up with no nose at the start of the latter, I knew exactly what was going on before I was told.

In any event, the technical term for what is basically the implosion of the nose (before it rots off…also common in leprocy, by the way) is saddle nose. You can read all sorts of fun stuff about the cosmetic reconstruction procedure used on The Knick here. It’s really quite interesting.

And they say television will rot your brain.

*who wrote one of the greatest dissident/satirical Soviet era Russian novels, The Master and Margarita.

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