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To the Editor.—
Considerable clinical interest has been focused on emotional factors as causes of dyshidrotic eczema. Although the mechanisms involved in hypothesized relationships between functions of the autonomic nervous systems and epidermal disorders are not entirely clear, autonomic control of skin conductance could play a role in the cause or maintenance of dyshidrotic eczema. We recently initiated research to determine the effects of learned control of skin conductance on eczema.One common factor relating skin conductance and dyshidrotic eczema is epidermal water content. Darrow and Gullickson (Psychophysiology 6:597, 1970) demonstrated that skin conductance is functionally related to epidermal hydration. Eczema is characterized by increased epidermal hydration, ie, intercellular or intracellular edema and, therefore, should be related to high skin conductivity. The degree of interdependence of skin conductance and eczema was the subject of a pilot study that involved training eczema patients to control relative skin conductance.A training procedure,
Miller RM, Coger RW, Dymond AM. Biofeedback Skin Conductance Conditioning in Dyshidrotic Eczema. Arch Dermatol. 1974;109(5):737-738. doi:10.1001/archderm.1974.01630050071030