McNair1 in 1917 recommended the use of iron salts in the treatment and prevention of poison ivy dermatitis. He found a rational explanation of its apparent good effect in that the toxic principle of rhus is precipitated and perhaps denatured when it comes in contact with iron. This method of treatment was first used by White in 1873;2 therefore, it seems to have been in use for many years previous to McNair's report.
Pusey3 in 1930 was the first to report a case of brown stains in the skin from wet dressings of a solution of ferrous sulfate. The stains on his patient's skin remained for years. Traub and Tenner4 reported 2 cases of this type of metallic pigmentation following the use of solutions of ferrous sulfate and ferric chloride and referred to 4 additional cases occurring in the service of Dr. George M. MacKee. Sutton
WEISS RS, CONRAD AH, CONRAD AH. XCI. TATTOO TYPE BLEMISHES FOLLOWING USE OF IRON SALTS IN TREATMENT OF RHUS DERMATITIS. Arch Derm Syphilol. 1941;43(4):650–656. doi:10.1001/archderm.1941.01490220046006
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