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December 1973


Arch Dermatol. 1973;108(6):848-849. doi:10.1001/archderm.1973.01620270068021

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Depigmentation Caused by a Phenolic Detergent-germicide. Presented by Richard B. Odom, MD, Kenneth M. Stein, MD.  A 31-year-old medical corpsman was examined because "his hands were turning white." He had worked in a physical medicine department from 1968 through July 1972. During this time he cleaned Hubbard tanks with O-Syl, a potent detergent and germicide. In the past year he had noted progressive loss of pigment from his hands (Figure). Mild erythema and pruritus preceded the loss of skin color in some of the sites. Although there has been no recent exposure to other germicides or detergents, nor use of rubber gloves, the pigmentary loss has been slowly progressive. His past history and family history yield no pertinent information.Physical examination showed hypopigmented patches involving the ventral and dorsal aspects of both hands, with spread to the wrists. Small pigmented islands are present within the hypopigmented areas. There is no

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