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December 1972

Contact Dermatitis From Proflavine Dihydrochloride

Author Affiliations

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Arch Dermatol. 1972;106(6):924. doi:10.1001/archderm.1972.01620150098035

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To the Editor.—  During the years 1955 to 1958, proflavine dihydrochloride (3,6-diaminoacridinium chloride hydrochloride) was used at a Veterans Hospital in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, as a preoperative surgical application to the skin. Many dozens of cases of allergic eczematous pigmentous contact dermatitis were observed from the use of this compound, which is a member of the acridine group of dyes. The number of patients exposed and the number of patients affected were not documented. Some individuals developed such dermatitis on two and three occasions after successive operations. Although the sensitizing index of the compound was thus not determined, it was significant. It is disturbing to note that, again, proflavine is being advocated for application to the skin, and in this instance for herpes simplex (Shelley W: Consultations in Dermatology. Philadelphia, WB Saunders Co, 1972, p 165). Members of the acridine group of dyes may also photosensitize the skin.

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