The effects of ionizing radiation on the skin became apparent quickly and radiation-induced dermatitis, epilation, and pigmentation first led to recognition of the biological effects of these rays. Some workers early on tried soft x rays in an effort to prevent severe sequelae, but the idea of using soft x rays in treating skin conditions lay dormant until 1923, when Gustav Bucky succeeded in devising an apparatus that produced ultrasoft x rays.1 Since he believed that the biological effects of these rays resembled those of conventional x rays in some ways and those of ultraviolet rays in others, Bucky called the new rays grenz rays. The name “grenz” means “border” in German.


Allergic Contact Dermatitis Lichen Planus Human Epidermis Seborrheic Dermatitis Nail Psoriasis 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Bucky G. Grenz ray therapy. New York, NY: Macmillan Co; 1929.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Hollander MB. Ultrasoft X-rays. An Historical and Critical Review of the World Experience with Grenz Rays and Other X-rays of Long Wave-length. Baltimore, Md: William & Wilkins; 1968.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Lindelof B, Liden S, Ros A-M. Effect of grenz rays on Langerhans’ cells in human epidermis. Acta Dermatol Venereol. 1984; 64: 436–438.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Lindelof B, Forslind B. Electron microscopic observation of Langerhans’ cells in human epidermis irradiated with grenz rays. Photodermatology. 1985; 2: 367–371.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Lindelof B, Liden S, Lagerholm B. The effect of grenz rays on the expression of allergic contact dermatitis in man. Scand J Immunol. 1985; 21: 463– 469.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Ek L, Lindelof B, Liden S. The duration of grenz ray-induced suppression of allergic contact dermatitis and its correlation to the density of Langerhans’ cells in human epidermis. Clin Exp Dermatol 1989; 14: 206–209.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Kalz F. Observations on grenz ray reactions. Dermatologica. 1959; 118: 357–371.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Rowell N. Adverse effects of superficial x-ray therapy and recommendations for safe use in benign dermatoses. J Dermatol Surg Oncol. 1978; 4: 630–634.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Frentz G. Grenz ray-induced nonmelanoma skin cancer. J Am Acad Dermatol. 1989; 21: 475–478.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Mortensen AC, Kjeldsen H. Carcinomas following grenz ray treatment of benign dermatoses. Acta Dermatol Venereol. 1987; 67: 523–525.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Lindelöf B, Eklund G. Incidence of malignant skin tumors in 14,140 patients after grenz ray treatment for benign skin disorders. Arch Dermatol. 1986; 122: 1391–1395.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Shapiro EM, Knox JM, Freeman RG. Carcinogenic effect of prolonged exposure to grenz ray. J Invest Dermatol. 1961; 291–298.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Zackheim HS, Kronbock E, Langs L. Cutaneous neoplasms in the rat produced by grenz ray and 80 kV x-ray. J Invest Dermatol. 1964; 48: 519–534.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Epstein JH. Carcinogenic and cocarcinogenic effects of grenz radiation. J Invest Dermatol. 1970; 54: 439–440.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Wulf HC, Hou-Jensen K. Metastatic cancer in guinea-pigs irradiated with grenz rays. Arch Dermatol. 1979; 115: 176–178.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Bucky G, Combes FC. Grenz ray therapy. New York, NY: Springer-Verlag; 1954.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Arouete J. Grenz ray therapy. In: Sidi E, ed. Psoriasis. Springfield, I11: Charles C Thomas; 1968: 243–257.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Frain-Bell W, Bettley FR. Treatment of psoriasis and eczema with grenz rays. In: Yearbook of Dermatology. Chicago, I11: Year Book Medical Publishers; 1960; 61: 103–104.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Stewart WD. Eczema. In: Maddin S, ed. Current Medical Management. 2nd ed. St Louis, Mo: CV Mosby; 1975: 144–146.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Brodersen J, Reymann F. Effect of grenz rays on psoriasis treated with local corticosteroids. Dermatológica. 1981; 162: 327–329.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    WiskemannA. Röntgenbestrahlung von Dermatosen im Genitalbereich. Hautarzt. 1977; 28: 219–223.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Wiskemann A. Strahlenbehandlung der Psoriasis und Parapsoriasis. Z Hautkr. 1981; 57: 1317–1324.Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Johannesson A, Lindelöf B. The effect of grenz rays on psoriasis lesions of the scalp. A double blind trial. Photodermatology. 1985; 2: 388–391.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Johannesson A, Lindelöf B. Additional effect of grenz rays on psoriasis lesions of the scalp treated with topical corticosteroids. Dermatológica. 1987; 175: 290–292.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Lindelöf B, Johannesson A. Psoriasis of the scalp treated with grenz rays or topical corticosteroid combined with grenz rays. A comparative randomized trial. Br J Dermatol. 1988; 119: 241–244.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Lindelöf B. Psoriasis of the nails treated with grenz rays: a double blind bilateral trial. Acta Dermatol Venereol. 1989; 69: 80–82.Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Lynne-Davies G. Lichen simplex chronicus. In: Maddin S, ed. Current Medical Management. 2nd ed. St Louis, Mo: CV Mosby; 1975: 203.Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Lindelöf B, Wrangsjö K, Lidén S. A double-blind study of grenz ray therapy in chronic eczema of the hands. Br J Dermatol. 1987; 117: 77–80.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Kopp H, Reymann FE. Lichen planus treated with grenz rays. Acta Dermatol Venereol. 1956; 36: 477–481.Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Brodkin RH, Bleiberg J. Grenz rays and lichen planus: case report of isomorphic phenomenon following grenz-ray therapy. Arch Dermatol. 1965; 91: 149–150.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Wiskemann A. Dyskeratosis follicularis Darier. Dermatol Monatsschr. 1969; 155: 200–202.Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Cipollaro V, Shaps R. The treatment of Darier’s disease: a comparison of superficial x-ray and grenz ray therapy. Int J Dermatol. 1979; 18: 580–583.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Lindelöf B. Histiocytosis X in an adult: treatment of skin lesions with grenz rays. J Am Acad Dermatol. 1988; 19: 426–427.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Wulf HC, Brodthagen H. Transmission of Bucky (grenz) rays through human scalp hair. Acta Dermatol Venereol. 1977; 57: 525–527.Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    Lindelöf B, Karlberg J, Lyckefalt S, Gerhardsson A. Grenz ray therapy: practical aspects of protecting office personnel from radiation. Photodermatology. 1988; 5: 248–251.PubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bernt Lindelöf

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations