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June 22, 1957


JAMA. 1957;164(8):914. doi:10.1001/jama.1957.02980080084019

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To the Editor:—  I read with interest Dr. R. R. Suskind's recent report (The Journal, March 16, page 943) on the effects of detergents on skin conditions. I object to Suskind's conclusion that detergents are not capable of causing skin damage, as well as the logic involved in basing such a conclusion on the experiments cited in the report. It is an everyday clinical fact that women engaged in household work do suffer from hand dermatitis much more frequently than do those in other occupations in which frequent contact with surface-active cleansing agents does not occur. Time and again, these patients report aggravation of their eruptions after contact with cleansing agents, and there is visible evidence of such reaction in the erythema, edema, and even vesiculation which result. It has been impossible in these clinical cases to effect a cure without strictly prohibiting contact with soap and synthetic detergents.Why

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