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January 1949

CONTACT DERMATITISPractical Management and Identification of Cause Without Patch Testing

Arch Derm Syphilol. 1949;59(1):36-44. doi:10.1001/archderm.1949.01520260040006

IF THE physician on examining his new patient identifies uncomplicated contact dermatitis, his problem of obtaining a cure has begun to take form. Those familiar with older writings on the treatment of "eczema," containing their detailed expositions of when to use soothing agents, when to use stimulating ones and which species of tar and what concentrations thereof one should employ, can recognize that the philosophy was that a cutaneous disease can be cured, the word "cured" being transitive and the word "disease" implying a concrete thing to be pushed about by means of medicines. This philosophy of the nature of healing is the analogue of the Aristotelian concept of motion as a condition requiring force for its maintenance. Modern dynamics conceives motion as a continuous state which requires a force to alter it, as expressed in Newton's first law. Return to health is, I think, to be considered the normal

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