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October 1955

An Evaluation of the Etiology of Otitis Externa with Additional Studies

Author Affiliations

San Francisco; Essen, Germany; Oakland, Calif.

From the Department of Dermatology, St. Mary's Help Hospital, San Francisco, and the Dermatology Clinic and the Institute for Radiotherapy, Essen.

AMA Arch Derm. 1955;72(4):353-361. doi:10.1001/archderm.1955.03730340051010

Otitis externa continues to be a therapeutic problem even in this age of "miracle drugs." According to Baer and Litt1 its therapy involves certain difficulties that usually do not occur in other dermatoses.

Although otolaryngologists have predominated in its study, the subject is being increasingly brought to the attention of dermatologists and allergists. Cornbleet and Schorr2 have stated that itching with and without evident dermatitis of the ear canal is a common complaint. According to Alonso,3 it (O.E.) comprises from 5% to 20% routine ear, nose, and throat office practice, depending to a certain extent on the season of the year. While these figures would be extremely high for such specialties as allergy and dermatology, the disease is sufficiently common to warrant our consideration.

The high incidence and the widespread distribution of otitis externa among military personnel in tropical or