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February 1955


Author Affiliations

Oakland, Calif.

From the Department of Dermatology, Mount Zion Hospital, San Francisco.

AMA Arch Derm. 1955;71(2):192-196. doi:10.1001/archderm.1955.01540260050011

THE INCIDENCE of most dermatoses has varied at different times in history. Since 1687, when scabies was separated from the group of eczemas, this infestation has ranked third to fifth in practically every study comparing the incidence of dermatoses. This was true all over the world. It has had its fluctuations, being commoner during wartime and decreasing in frequency in periods of peace. However, it has always been common enough to richly merit the name of "the itch."

Personal experience during the past few years lead to the conclusion that this disease was becoming rare. Therefore, the records in my office from 1937 to 1953 were reviewed. The results are presented in tabular form in Table 1 and graphically in Figure 1. These demonstrate a remarkable decrease in incidence when compared with normal times as well as with the period of World War II and the immediate

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