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April 13, 1935


Author Affiliations

St. Louis Instructor in Dermatology, St. Louis University School of Medicine

JAMA. 1935;104(15):1322-1323. doi:10.1001/jama.1935.92760150001009

Perfume dermatitis is not common in this country when one considers that thousands of bottles of various types and grades of perfume are sold annually. It is possible that many cases are overlooked by the physician; others may be mild in character and detected by the patient herself. Unfortunately the literature contains very few reports of true perfume dermatitis.1 These cases are fairly common in France.

There are three types of dermatitis that may be caused by perfume. Dermatitis venenata can be produced by irritants in the perfume coming in contact with the skin at the first application without the intervention of hypersensitivity. This type simulates benzene or turpentine dermatitis (examples of universal cutaneous irritants) and is similar to a chemical burn. At first local, it may spread and become generalized, as a result of autosensitization, a phenomenon first described by Whitfield2 in 1930. Other cases are due to hypersensitization

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