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September 21, 1940

DERMATITIS OF THE HANDS IN HOUSEWIVES: ROLE OF SOAPS IN ITS ETIOLOGY AND METHODS FOR ITS PREVENTION

Author Affiliations

BUFFALO

From the Department of Dermatology and Syphilology, University of Buffalo School of Medicine.

JAMA. 1940;115(12):1001-1006. doi:10.1001/jama.1940.02810380031007
Abstract

Eczematous dermatitis of the hands in housewives is one of the commonest and most refractory conditions for which dermatologists are consulted. Although we recognize that a diversity of allergens may cause this type of dermatitis, it is our belief that the majority of cases are caused by hypersensitivity to ingredients of soaps and allied cleansers.

In 1936 we1 did extensive patch test experiments both on normal individuals and on patients who had an eczematous type of dermatitis in an attempt to determine the allergenic properties of soaps. The results of that study convinced us of the importance of soaps, laundry preparations and allied household cleansers in the production of eczema.

In this study we discuss the pertinent chemistry of soaps and allied cleansers, report our observations on the clinical features of housewives' eczema due to these substances and evaluate patch tests as a diagnostic procedure in individual cases. Methods

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