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To the Editor:—
Complaints of irritation of the female urethra and urinary bladder frequently demand therapeutic resourcefulness. Symptoms of frequency, burning on urination, and urgency may indicate potentially serious urinary tract infection, especially in diabetic women.I have encountered five women, all with diabetes, in whom longstanding urethral or bladder irritation appeared to have been precipitated or aggravated by habitual use of bubble-bath soap preparations. Two had undergone repeated urologic and gynecologic study, and in a third patient symptoms had been attributed to a Wertheim operation performed a decade earlier. Without other change in therapy, discontinuance of the bubble bath led to prompt disappearance of the urinary complaints. The mucosal irritation is attributed to the direct effect of the ingredients of the bubble bath.
This 23-year-old school teacher was found to have a fasting blood glucose concentration of 217 mg/100 cc when first seen because of marked obesity,
Roberts HJ. Bubble-Bath Cystitis. JAMA. 1967;201(3):207-208. doi:10.1001/jama.1967.03130030077026