The etiology of chronic eczema remains still a subject of conjecture. Men have held decided views on this question since the disease was first recognized, and to those who seek the details of this historical controversy let me recommend the excellent summary of the subject recently published by Heimann.2 Today there can be no doubt, I think, in the unbiased mind that internal as well as external causes play their respective rôles in the production of the disease, and I believe that at the present moment a good many men hold the opinion that the first etiologic step is the sensitization of the skin and that the second is the contact with an external irritant.
One might regard this theory as a compromise between the two earlier creeds, that is, the external and internal; but I myself find any other conjecture irreconcilable with the facts. All men admit that
WHITE CJ. TWO MODERN METHODS TO BE EMPLOYED IN THE TREATMENT OF CHRONIC ECZEMA. JAMA. 1917;LXVIII(2):81-89. doi:10.1001/jama.1917.04270010081003