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January 1958

A Psychophysiological Concept of Atopic Eczema

Author Affiliations


AMA Arch Derm. 1958;77(1):34-41. doi:10.1001/archderm.1958.01560010036006

In spite of all that has been said and written about atopic eczema in the last 30 years, the psychosomatic approach to this disease state has not been as widely accepted as its proponents have hoped for. Particularly among nondermatologists, the search for causative allergens, the withdrawal of foods, the attempts at desensitization to inhalants still goes on. As a group, dermatologists have probably become more fatalistic about their ability to influence the course of the disease than other physicians who deal with the problem. Some few have publicly and by printed word advocated psychiatric management. Their efforts invariably stir up vigorous dissent, however, which often comes from reputable, hence influential, quarters.

The reasonable psychosomaticists offer no panacea. Their views were best expressed by Obermayer1 in his recent book "Psychocutaneous Medicine." He states, "While there is no question as to the atopic component of

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