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June 27, 1959


Author Affiliations

New York

From the Department of Dermatology and Syphilology, New York University Post-Graduate Medical School, and the Skin and Cancer Unit, University Hospital.

JAMA. 1959;170(9):1041-1045. doi:10.1001/jama.1959.03010090031007

There are three distinct varieties of multiple eczematous sensitivities. In multiple non-specific sensitivity there is heightened susceptibility to the primary irritant effect of many chemically and immunologically unrelated substances. In multiple primary specific allergic sensitivity there is a greater than average susceptibility to the development of allergic eczematous sensitizations. The third variety, multiple secondary specific allergic sensitivity, is based on an immunochemical relationship between the primary allergen and the secondary allergens, which must be so closely related that the sensitized cells react to them as if they were identical. The pattern of the body's response to multiple secondary eczematous sensitizations is relatively unpredictable for a given person; the variations are numerous and striking, and the more intense the degree of primary sensitivity the greater is the likelihood that multiple secondary sensitizations will occur.