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The increasing popularity of mah jongg has brought to my attention a number of cases of dermatitis of the hands and face in which I have suspected that the irritating agent was the Japanese lacquer with which the mah jongg sets are varnished. In the subjoined case this was definitely proved to be the etiologic factor.
REPORT OF CASE
A man, aged 38, who had been under my care for several years with a mild ichthyosis and at various times had had an eczematoid ringworm of the feet, presented himself, Dec. 24, 1923, with a vesicular dermatitis of the right forearm. The diagnosis I made at this time was a plant dermatitis, as inquiry elicited the fact that he had ferns and other plants in his apartment. Under soothing local applications (calamine lotion) the eruption subsided in a few days. On the morning of December 30, I was called to
ZEISLER EP. DERMATITIS VENENATA FROM THE LACQUER ON THE BOXES OF MAH JONGG SETS. JAMA. 1924;82(6):466. doi:10.1001/jama.1924.02650320036012