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Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a complex, multifactorial disorder that was first described in the medical literature over 100 years ago. Although clinicians and researchers agree that this disorder is caused by many factors, the role of allergic disease has remained at the forefront of clinical research. In the late 19th century, Besnier provided a detailed description of a chronic, pruritic dermatitis beginning in infancy and showing associations with asthma and rhinitis. The term prurigo Besnier was subsequently used to describe these patients. In 1902, Brocq coined the term neurodermatitis to refer to a chronic, pruritic skin condition seen in patients with apparent nervous disorders. Coca (1933) was the first to denote the familial occurrence of hay fever, asthma and eczema and introduced the term atopy to describe the inherited nature of human hypersensitivity disorders. In 1933, Wise and Sulzberger condensed the past terminology into the descriptive term we use today—atopic dermatitis.
KeywordsAtopic Dermatitis Allergic Rhinitis Food Allergen Atopic Disease Eosinophil Cationic Protein
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- Hanafin, JM. Atopic dermatitis. In: Middleton, Reed, Ellis, Adkinson, Yunginger, Busse, eds. Allergy: Principles and Practice. St. Louis, Mosby—Yearbook, 1993, pp. 1581–1604.Google Scholar