Wise and Sulzberger1 in an editorial comment on a paper by Wilhelm Greuer, "Fatal Outcome of Treatment of Psoriasis with Yellow Mercuric Oxide," remarked as follows:
This case is instructive and should remain in the memory of all physicians. There was a high degree of apparently allergic hypersensitivity to an ordinary innocuous substance. One of the editors observed a case of psoriasis in which 3 per cent white ammoniated mercury applied once to hands and elbows led to severe, long-lasting and almost fatal erythroderma with cardiac, renal and other visceral complications. Fortunately, these cases are extremely rare. Ordinarily, the yellow oxide of mercury ointments and the low concentrations of white ammoniated mercury can be put even into babies' eyes without the slightest harmful effects. Millions use these preparations with impunity but suddenly some person shows the most devastating, explosive reaction. This holds true not only of mercurials
SAMITZ MH. ECZEMATOUS CONTACT DERMATITIS DUE TO MERCURIALS: REPORT OF A CASE OF A REACTION TO TEN PER CENT AMMONIATED MERCURY OINTMENT AND ASSOCIATED WITH MERCURIAL POISONING. Arch Derm Syphilol. 1944;50(1):10–11. doi:10.1001/archderm.1944.01510130013004
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