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Article
March 1986

Research on Atopic DermatitisDiamonds and Rust

Author Affiliations

Department of Dermatology University of Minnesota Box 98, University Hospitals 420 Delaware St SE Minneapolis, MN 55455

Arch Dermatol. 1986;122(3):265-266. doi:10.1001/archderm.1986.01660150043012
Abstract

Atopic dermatitis is a prevalent skin disease affecting 1% to 4% of the population.1 Many things are known about the disease (the diamonds).2 However, the disorder is difficult to study. Only some of the research studies can be validated after careful examination of methods and results (the rust).

WHAT IS ATOPIC DERMATITIS?  Atopic dermatitis is a chronic, eczematous dermatitis. Although in florid cases the diagnosis is obvious, the disorder can mimic and be mimicked by a number of other eczematous skin conditions. Hanifin and Rajka3 have proposed major and minor criteria for the diagnosis. Although these diagnostic criteria have been widely adopted by research investigators, the criteria are not absolute, and the sensitivity and specificity of these criteria as an aid to diagnosis not only is unknown but also cannot be established. Since there is no definitive serologic or other laboratory marker for the disease, groups of

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