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July 1953


Author Affiliations


From the Health Service and Department of Bacteriology, Bucknell University.

AMA Arch Derm Syphilol. 1953;68(1):69-79. doi:10.1001/archderm.1953.01540070072010

NEARLY 100 years have elapsed since Devergie1 described nummular eczema. Since then, nummular eczema has been confused with other disease entities and has been described under such names as orbicular eczema, parasitic eczema, and herpetoid eczema. Devergie was not the first to compare plaques of dermatitis to coins. Rayer,2 in referring to what must have been nummular eczema, stated: "This variety is distinguished by clustered patches of vesicles, the dimensions of which vary from those of a sovereign to those of a two sovereign piece." In Rayer's book there was an illustration showing the radial side of a hand with typical coin-sized plaques of dermatitis.

Characteristically, nummular eczema occurs in sharply defined coin-sized vesicular plaques favoring the extensor surfaces of the extremities below the knees and the elbows. The best descriptions of nummular eczema which we have found to date are those by Sulzberger and Wolf3

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