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April 30, 1932


Author Affiliations


From the Department of Dermatology and Syphilology of the Western Reserve University Medical School and of the Cleveland City and Lakeside hospitals.

JAMA. 1932;98(18):1521-1525. doi:10.1001/jama.1932.02730440001001

"Doctor, I am suffering from eczema"—most often pronounced with the emphasis on the second syllable. What physician has not heard this expression hundreds of times, and how often even the best physicians and dermatologists have been at their wits' end before seeing the last of the patient! That the condition is common goes without saying, and even in dermatologic practice, where more careful elimination of related conditions would be achieved, one finds that the percentage of eczema and dermatitis is very high in comparison with the number of dermatoses diagnosed. Moreover, even in the practice of the general practitioner, the problem of eczema and dermatitis comes up so often that I feel that it would be well worth a little consideration; at least, that is my excuse for presenting it for study.

The word eczema is an old term. As early as 1800, Robert Willan defined it as "a condition

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