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March 1965

Itching and Scratching

Arch Dermatol. 1965;91(3):287-288. doi:10.1001/archderm.1965.01600090095020

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This book is a collection of the results of investigations by a Freudian-oriented psychiatrist (Musaph), assisted by another psychiatrist (Bastiaans) and several psychologists, with contributions by two dermatologists (Prakken and Woerdeman). The nine chapters are loosely connected essays on: Scratch Compulsion and Itching States, Bullosis Psychogenica (not proved in the reviewer's opinion), Psychoanalysis of a Woman Suffering from Atopic Dermatitis and Urticaria, Chronic Urticaria, Psychogenic Pruritus, Atopic Dermatitis, Urticaria as a Primary Symbolic Expression (a Round Table Conference), and Combined Treatment of Two Cases of Erythrodermia Exfoliativa with ACTH and Psychotherapy. The studies are painstakingly detailed and there is a proliferation of psychodynamic explanations. The book is recommended only to "aficionados" of psychocutaneous medicine who will find it difficult to read and who are likely to disagree with some of the authors' statements. Musaph emerges as a warm and intuitive clinician.

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