[Skip to Content]
Access to paid content on this site is currently suspended due to excessive activity being detected from your IP address Please contact the publisher to request reinstatement.
[Skip to Content Landing]
June 1945


Author Affiliations

Assistant Physician, Massachusetts General Hospital BOSTON

Arch Derm Syphilol. 1945;51(6):391-395. doi:10.1001/archderm.1945.01510240037007

In 1939 a survey was made of 4,500 persons, including physicians, dentists, nurses, students, typists, mothers with young babies, childless housewives, mechanics and others, in order to determine the effect of soap as used in diverse occupations. Analysis of the replies to the varied but definite questions revealed that over 34 per cent of the group gave a history indicating that soap had caused dryness, scaling, itching or burning or some combination of these subjective and objective symptoms. Nurses, dental assistants, surgeons and housewives reported a higher percentage of ill effects from soap than did clerks or typists. About 13 per cent of the persons reporting disturbances were men. Dryness was the most common complaint, and over a third of those reporting dryness also reported associated itching and scaling. By far the most common substitute for soap was some kind of cosmetic cream. Ninety per cent of