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February 6, 1967

Eczema of the Hands: Investigations into Dyshidrosiform Eruptions

Author Affiliations

Columbia, Mo

JAMA. 1967;199(6):436. doi:10.1001/jama.1967.03120060134042

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Simons' excellent monograph has been re-issued, revised, retitled, and although perhaps a little overwhelming in its broad challenge to our traditional concept of hand eczema, is a valuable publication. His book has not yet received the consideration it should have. To debate the question he raises, new clinical experiments may have to be done and old experiments re-investigated. Because eczema of the hands is a disease of such importance socially and economically, involving the young working person and causing dislocation of family life, a vigorous approach to the problem is much to be desired.

I find Simons' lengthy criticisms, durable skepticism, eagerness to support new hypotheses, and impatience with old ideas, to be an appropriate approach to a subject which needs "crust breaking" so that new work may start. Perhaps, as he suggests, we have allowed the theories of allergy to dominate thinking for many decades, without demanding the usual