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February 1955


Author Affiliations

Chief of the Clinic of Allergy and Applied Immunology, Temple University Hospital, and Associate Professor of Medicine, Temple University School of Medicine.

AMA Am J Dis Child. 1955;89(2):210-220. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1955.02050110252013

ATOPIC dermatitis, or allergic eczema, can be and often is a troublesome affliction of children, especially in infancy and early childhood. For many years, especially in the early part of the century, it was considered strictly a local dermatologic problem being treated like other "eczemas." In the absence of more definite etiologies, neurogenic or psychogenic factors often were considered of primary importance—which explains the designation "neurodermatitis" given to it in 1902, by Brocq. Its frequent association with asthma and hay fever was noted as early as 1892, by Besnier, who was the first to describe the disease as an independent form of prurigo—hence the designation "Besnier's prurigo." However, its relationship to allergy was not definitely established until much later. Beginning in 1932, chiefly through the efforts first of Sulzberger and Coca and later of Hill and others, the allergic etiology was clearly established, based upon the following evidence: its frequent

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