Regional statistics and records of hospital departments have provided most of the data on the prevalence of AD, but, as sources of accurate estimates, these are imperfect; statistical records, for example, make no sharp distinction between AD and other varieties of eczema. This is well instanced by the use of the heading “infantile eczema,” under which some cases of seborrheic dermatitis are likely to be included. Thus, figures for the incidence of “infantile eczema,” such as 3.1% (Walker and Warin 1956), are not necessarily precise estimates of the frequency of infantile AD. Furthermore, difficulty in differential diagnosis has led some authors to exclude cases of infantile AD from their series. The incidence of eczema in schoolchildren has been given as 1.1% by Brereton et al. (1959). Some reports have included the frequency both of AD and of other atopic manifestations. Even the incidence of atopy in the general population has been assessed by somewhat different methods and has been found to be as high as 20% (Carr et al. 1964). Further complexity has been added to the subject, for the author, studying monovular twins, found a significant disparity in the clinical course of their atopic manifestations (Rajka 1961), and this was quoted by Champion and Parish (1968) as an argument in favor of the concept of latent atopy. Therefore, only a few critical, selective statistics are available on the occurrence of AD in a large, normal population. They include those from Copenhagen, citing a frequency of 0.1% (Schwartz 1952), and those from Zürich, citing an incidence of 0.1%–0.5% (Schnyder 1960).


Atopic Dermatitis Alopecia Areata Seborrheic Dermatitis Hand Eczema Acta Derm 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Georg Rajka
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of DermatologyRikshospitaletOslo 1Norway

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