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April 21, 1923


Author Affiliations

From the Northwestern University Medical School and the Michael Reese Sarah Morris Hospital for Children.

JAMA. 1923;80(16):1141-1142. doi:10.1001/jama.1923.02640430029013

In an eight-year clinical study of that type of infantile eczema involving the cheeks, I have come to the conclusion that the part played by diet is only secondary.

Reflecting every periodic wave of medical thought, observers have ascribed the etiology of eczema to infection, to vagotonia, to constitutional anomaly, and to allergy. During the last decade many pediatricians have followed the teachings of Adelbert Czerny, who offered in explanation an underlying constitutional background—the "exudative diathesis." This diathesis he believed to be greatly improved by withdrawal of fat from the diet. Hence the great emphasis placed by his followers on the effect of food therapy. Repeated observations, however, impugn the definiteness of this constitutional anomaly; and, again, the effect of fat withdrawal on the eczema is by no means as conclusive as was originally taught.

It was decided that a feasible method of reopening the question would be to follow

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