During the past four years (1959-1963) 27 adolescent girls have been observed and treated for atopic dermatitis. This paper is concerned with these adolescent patients, and particular interest has been directed toward the relationship of the skin lesions to various changes in the menstrual cycle.
Eczema was first described by Besnier 1 in 1892 and the term atopic dermatitis was coined by Coca and Sulzberger2,3 in 1934. Despite the vast amount of literature concerning atopic dermatitis since that time, relatively little has been written about the natural course of atopic dermatitis during adolescence.4-7 Most typically, atopic dermatitis or eczema is a highly pruritic, sometimes exudative, cutaneous syndrome usually beginning in early life. It is frequently the first manifestation of a constitutional abnormality intermittently associated with the development of allergic rhinitis and/or asthma.5 It may be divided into three important phases representing different morphologic features clinically: