Lately I was consulted by a group of department store employees, all of whom showed bites and dermatitis from scratching.
Four women and a man showed wheals and papules. Many of the papules and a few wheals showed a central punctum. The bites varied from five to forty in number on the women and numerous on the man. In the women the sites of predilection were the arms and forearms, while the man had an extensive eruption of the hands, ankles, legs, belt line, upper part of the shoulders and the neck. The itching varied according to the extent of the eruption. At the time of the first examination no parasites were found on the skin or clothing.
Bedbugs, fleas and other blood-sucking parasites had to be considered. A few clues in the history were valuable. No other members of the five families had a disease of the skin; this
Weber LF. RAT MITE DERMATITIS. JAMA. 1940;114(15):1442. doi:10.1001/jama.1940.62810150004008b