A complete factory for the manufacture of soap, about 1,700 years old, was discovered in the excavations at Pompeii. The Romans had learned the art of soap making from the Gauls, who may have gotten it from the Phoenicians.1 For centuries soaps were crude and costly, and perfumes were more generally used, but now the soap industry has developed to such a point that a number of excellent toilet soaps are available even to those in the poorest circumstances. The value of soap and water in personal hygiene, as an aid in preventing the spread of disease and in the treatment of various cutaneous disorders, need scarcely be mentioned. The surgeon relies on soap and running water to help free his hands of bacteria before he operates, and many investigators have testified to its efficiency.2 In 1920 Norton3 reached the conclusion that ordinary toilet soaps are at
PARKHURST HJ. TOILET SOAPS, SOAP SUBSTITUTES AND HARD WATER: A STUDY OF VARIOUS COMBINATIONS BY PATCH TESTS. Arch Derm Syphilol. 1941;43(2):299–310. doi:10.1001/archderm.1941.01490200081007
Coronavirus Resource Center
Customize your JAMA Network experience by selecting one or more topics from the list below.
Create a personal account or sign in to: