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January 1949

AUTOSENSITIZATION DERMATITIS: Report of Five Cases and Protocol of an Experiment

Author Affiliations


Arch Derm Syphilol. 1949;59(1):68-77. doi:10.1001/archderm.1949.01520260072010

THE CONCEPT of a person's becoming sensitized, in one or more of his organs, to a substance elaborated in or on his body from his own tissue proteins has intrigued many investigators.

Whitfield1 was probably the first to apply this concept to the field of dermatology. He reported, in 1921, the cases of 2 patients in whom generalized toxic eruptions developed ten days after they had incurred large hematomas due to trauma. A generalized papular, urticarial rash developed in a third patient eleven days after an acute exacerbation of dermatitis of the legs. In another patient a red-streaked, urticarial wheal developed whenever serum from a vesiculobullous eczema of the legs came in contact with normal areas of the skin. For these interesting dermatologic phenomena Whitfield coined the term autosensitization.

In 1945, Smith2 reported, under the name "eczema autolytica," the same type of autosensitization dermatitis as in Whitfield's third

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