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October 1959

Threshold Stimulation of the Skin and Housewives' Eczema of the Hands

Author Affiliations

New Haven, Conn.

AMA Arch Derm. 1959;80(4):461-465. doi:10.1001/archderm.1959.01560220071015

In a previous study1 on cutaneous sensibility threshold measurement with squarewave current, two significant findings were reported: (1) The range of sensibility thresholds was higher in men than in women, and (2) in women with housewives' eczema of the hands the sensibility threshold range was lower than in other women. It was felt that these differences in threshold sensibility were basically related to epidermal thickness rather than to neurological differences. Inasmuch as the outer epidermis acts as a protection against all outside irritants, it was felt that epidermal thickness would also influence the reaction to primary irritants. It was, therefore, theorized that in thin-skinned persons, the sensibility threshold would be relatively low and resistance to primary irritant would also be relatively low, resulting in a greater primary irritant reaction. The opposite course of events would be expected in relatively thicker-skinned persons.


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