Friday, August 12, 2016

History of eczema

Eczema as defined previously is dermatitis caused by internal factors such as inherent diathesis, stasis, stress, dry skin etc. Eczemas are classified depending on morphology and aetiology.

Historical reflections in the description of atopic eczema start with Robert Willan who in 1808 used the term ‘eczema’ in a scientific morphological way. In his book, Description and Treatment of Cutaneous Diseases Willan expanded classification of skin disease and introduced new clinical entities such as erythema nodosum (inflammatory reaction deep in the skin).

The efforts clinical descriptions of skin conditions and their treatments date back to 1600 BC in ancient Egypt, where medical healers treated such conditions as psoriasis, ulcers, alopecia and scabies. The term ‘eczema’ was coined in the sixth century AD by the Greek physician Aetios from Amida who described the boiling and bubbling (eczeo = to bubble up) as it can be observed in a boiling soup.

Early description can be found in the book of the Italian physician Girolamoi Mercuriali (1601) with a description of ‘lactumen’ as crustose skin lesions on the scalp which look like burned milk in a pan and were later called ‘cradle cap’.

Bateman in 1813 defined eczema and has a rather precise meaning for the majority dermatologists. The word eczema is often used as a synonym for dermatitis and would probably be a well accepted denomination since the general public has always considered the disease atopic dermatitis to be an eczema, as it is identical to infantile eczema.

Rayer (1793-1867), the first edition of his influential Treatises, proposed to distinguish acute and chronic eczemas.

In 1933, Wise and Sulzberger later coined the term atopic dermatitis to further emphasize the relationship between atopic eczema, hay fever, and asthma. History of eczema

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