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To the Editor.—
With regard to Dr. Koby's statement that phenylmercuric acetate 0.1% is a primary irritant, I would like to state that our present batch of phenylmercuric acetate 0.1% (a 1:1,000 concentration) in petrolatum has been used in over 150 patients in the Allergy Department of the Skin and Cancer Unit for the past two years without encountering primary irritant reactions.However, we have occasionally been informed that certain phenylmercuric acetate preparations in 0.1% in petrolatum seemed to give primary irritant reactions. In such instances, we advise an 0.05% concentration of the particular phenylmercuric acetate for patch testing. This is the concentration of phenylmercuric acetate which is used in contraceptive jellies and creams.I would be happy to send Dr. Koby a supply of our phenylmercuric acetate 0.1% to see if he obtains primary irritant reactions with our preparation.
Fisher AA. Phenylmercuric Acetate as Primary Irritant-Reply. Arch Dermatol. 1972;106(1):129. doi:10.1001/archderm.1972.01620100103031