In view of the fact that the crystalline lens is, embryonically speaking, a portion of the surface ectoderm, it would not be unusual for it to participate in some generalized disease or disturbance of the ectodermal layer. As any change in the crystalline lens must be a degenerative one, one might, therefore, expect cataracts to be frequently associated with dermatologic conditions ; such, however, is not the case. Positive association of cataract with dermatitis is still uncommon in present day medical knowledge.
The literature on this subject is divided into two distinct groups: (1) articles describing the hereditary, familial and congenital cases, known either as cases of Rothmund's syndrome or of Werner's syndrome, and (2) articles describing cases of chronic dermatitis, usually associated with asthma and a marked history of allergy, and sometimes referred to as cases of cataracta neurodermatitis, cataracta dermatogenes, allergic eczema and cataracts and now "atopic cataracts."
WILLIAM P. BEETHAM. ATOPIC CATARACTS. Arch Ophthalmol. 1940;24(1):21–37. doi:10.1001/archopht.1940.00870010043004