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June 5, 1948


Author Affiliations

Rochester, N. Y.

From the Department of Pediatrics of the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry.

JAMA. 1948;137(6):527-531. doi:10.1001/jama.1948.02890400031006

Atopic dermatitis, most commonly known as infantile eczema, is the most important skin disease of infancy and childhood. It is not the most common one, since most infants escape this altogether while practically every infant has at one time or another at least a minimum, of seborrheic dermatitis in the form of "cradle cap" or of eczematous dermatitis of the contact type, particularly in the form of a diaper rash. The eczematoid dermatoses commonly start on the cheeks, and at the onset it may be difficult or impossible to determine whether one is dealing with atopic, seborrheic or contact dermatitis. It is also possible for the inexperienced or careless person to mistake other diseases such as scabies, psoriasis or pediculosis for atopic dermatitis, but fortunately these conditions are not common in infancy and childhood, and the diagnosis of atopic dermatitis is not often mistakenly made in this age group.