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April 1955

Inhalant Allergens in Dermatitis: Role in Dermatitis of the Hands

Author Affiliations

Hanover, N. H.

From the Hitchcock Clinic and the Department of Dermatology, Dartmouth Medical School (Dr. Jillson, Instructor in Dermatology; Dr. Piper, Resident in Dermatology).

AMA Arch Derm. 1955;71(4):436-440. doi:10.1001/archderm.1955.01540280012002

For some five years we have been interested in the function of inhalant allergens in the causation of eczema. This interest was initiated by a patient who had seasonal eczema of the hands for seven years. The dermatitis began each year during the middle of August and spontaneously disappeared each year around October. The patient was referred to an allergist, who made a diagnosis of allergic dermatitis from the aqueous protein fraction of ragweed pollen and instituted a desensitization program; the next year the dermatitis did not recur.

This experience, supported by two subsequent cases, initiated an active investigation into the role inhalant allergens play in the production of eczema. The first case was that of a woman with eczema of the hands for 12 years. The dermatitis was present for only six weeks each spring. Intradermal skin tests were performed, and a positive delayed papular