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May 4, 1957


Author Affiliations

Department of Dermatology Temple University Medical Center Philadelphia 40.

JAMA. 1957;164(1):92. doi:10.1001/jama.1957.02980010094024

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To the Editor:—  Dermatitis from the cashew nut is extremely rare in the United States, since the tree grows chiefly in tropical America, Africa, and the West Indies. We have observed a patient in whom contact with the rind on two occasions produced a dermatitis. Dr. J. C. White devoted a chapter of his book ( Dermatitis Venenata, Boston, Cupples and Hurd, 1887, pp. 71-72) to cashew nut dermatitis and stated that the tree bears an edible nut, but that its rind or mesocarp contains an oily fluid called cardol that turns black on exposure to the air and acts as a severe irritant to the skin. Prior to shipment, the dried nuts are roasted, causing the outer shell to burst open and release the oil, which takes fire, giving off fumes which may irritate the eyes and skin.Our patient, a 60-year-old woman, gathered raw cashew nuts in the shell

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