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September 1972

Dermatitis From Applied Medicaments

Author Affiliations

Munich, Germany; London; London; Lund, Sweden; Hellerup, Denmark; Malmö, Sweden; San Francisco; Nijmegen, Holland; Bari, Italy; Helsinki; Amersham, England

From the Department of Dermatology, University of California School of Medicine, San Francisco. The authors are members of the International Contact Dermatitis Research Group.

Arch Dermatol. 1972;106(3):335-337. doi:10.1001/archderm.1972.01620120023004

Four thousand consecutive patients with eczema in five European clinics were tested with a series of medicaments. These included 20% neomycin sulfate, 5% benzocaine, 5% iodochlorhydroxyquin (Vioform), 15% parabens, 30% wool alcohols, and 5% chlorquinaldol (Sterosan), in a petrolatum vehicle.

Of the 4,000, 560 (14%) were judged to have a relevant medicament dermatitis; this represented one third of all allergic contact dermatitis in this series. Forty percent of women with dermatitis of the lower leg had medicament sensitivity. Benzocaine and neomycin elicit positive reactions most frequently, wool alcohols somewhat less, whereas iodochlorhydroxyquin, chlorquinaldol, and parabens give less than 2% positive reactions. In spite of the geographical differences, greater than 80% of applied medicament dermatitis could be diagnosed with the standard patch test series.