The term "sulfonated oil" is applied to a group of compounds arising from the action of sulfuric acid on an oil or fat which is partly unsaturated. Such oils as olive, cod liver, teaseed and castor may be sulfonated. The characteristics of the final product depend on the method and degree of sulfonation. The complexity of the final products was shown recently in Koppenhoefer's1 report of the analyses of three different oils.
Since, therefore, the term "sulfonated oil" does not designate a definite chemical entity, various sulfonated oils may differ in their action on the skin. In fact, some sulfonated oils have been reported to be irritating to the skin of textile workers2 and also of users of some shampoos.3 Nevertheless, it seemed advisable to use sulfonated oils as detergents in certain cutaneous diseases because of their good cleansing action, their acid character and the small percentage
LANE CG, BLANK IH. SULFONATED OIL AS A DETERGENT FOR DISEASES OF THE SKIN. Arch Derm Syphilol. 1941;43(3):435–443. doi:10.1001/archderm.1941.01490210003001
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