July 22, 1933


Author Affiliations

From the Pittsburgh Skin and Cancer Foundation.

JAMA. 1933;101(4):259-261. doi:10.1001/jama.1933.02740290007003

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Dermatitis produced by cosmetics through direct contact is becoming a more frequently established and recognized condition, but the specific agent responsible for this eruption has to be ferreted out of an almost endless number of these so-called beautifying preparations.

As the eruption may develop either immediately after the use of a new preparation as a result of specific hypersensitivity or of chemical irritation, or only after a long period of use, as a result of sensibilization, created through frequent and constant use, difficulty arises in finding the cause. A subconscious defensive attitude on the part of the patient when the subject of cosmetics is broached adds further hindrance.

It may be profitable to mention what arouses one's suspicion of a dermatitis produced by contact with cosmetics:

  1. Location of the eruption.

  2. Sudden appearance.

  3. Intense subjective symptoms (burning and itching).

  4. Time element.

  5. Type of skin eruption.

These points need further elucidation:


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