With a tenacity for tradition positively British, and an ancestry worship almost Chinese, dermatologists have clung to the views of their revered dead and to obsolete designations, less with wisdom than with a certain commendable if sentimental loyalty. The term eczema is derived from the Greek, meaning to boil up, to bubble. Actually, the picture of bubbling is suggested as much and as little by eczema as by herpes, pemphigus, or any other vesicular or bullous disease. Thus, even as a simile the designation is defecitve. This in itself would be a matter of minor import, did not the term lead us astray with reference to a closely related or indeed actually identical disease, simple dermatitis. It is the object of the present paper to illustrate this identity, and to suggest the abandonment of the word eczema, or at least to restrict its use to a precise group of cutaneous
HEIMANN WJ. THE PATHOLOGY AND PATHOGENESIS OF ECZEMA AND DERMATITIS: THE IDENTITY OF THE TWO DISEASES. JAMA. 1917;LXVIII(2):75–79. doi:10.1001/jama.1917.04270010075001
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