WHILE the "prophetic patch test," as published by Schwartz and Peck,1 has come into frequent use in determining the sensitizing potency of materials and chemicals coming in contact with the skin, unless it is carried out properly erroneous conclusions may be reached. It seems to us that this point is not sufficiently stressed, as is exemplified in a recent article by Underwood and his associates.2 Schwartz and Peck,3 in their "Cosmetics and Dermatitis," repeatedly stressed the fact that usage tests are often necessary in order to check and interpret the reactions obtained in patch tests, especially when dealing with certain types of chemical substances and compounds.
While patch tests give a fairly accurate idea of the relative cutaneous irritating and sensitizing properties of a new formula placed on the market, they do not always give an accurate idea of what may happen under conditions of actual use.
SIEGEL JM, MELTZER L. PATCH TESTS VERSUS USAGE TESTS: With Special Reference to Volatile Ingredients. Arch Derm Syphilol. 1948;57(4):660–663. doi:10.1001/archderm.1948.01520170058007
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