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Article
February 1955

ELECTROSTATIC ELECTRICITY AS A POSSIBLE FACTOR IN PRURITUS OF DRY SKIN DERMATOSES

Author Affiliations

(MC), U. S. Army

From the Department of Medicine, Dermatology Service, Brooke Army Hospital, Brooke Army Medical Center, Fort Sam Houston, Texas.

AMA Arch Derm. 1955;71(2):224-225. doi:10.1001/archderm.1955.01540260082017

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Abstract

AMEASURABLE can be formed on the surface of an object which is a relatively poor conductor of electricity. Friction is the usual mechanism whereby this surface charge is produced. This is easily demonstrated by rubbing wool on an amber rod. This electrostatic charge remains relatively static on the surface of an object, but it is rapidly dissipated when the object is grounded.

PRELIMINARY STUDIES

In the past year we have been investigating electrostatic electricity as a possible factor in pruritus of dry skin dermatoses, and have determined the following facts: The body surface harbors an electrostatic charge, and the quantity of this charge is measurable with an electrostatic voltmeter. The voltage is quite variable; in different persons it ranges from a few volts to more than a thousand volts. We have found that patients who have a dry skin tend to have a higher voltage than

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