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August 1951


Author Affiliations


AMA Arch Derm Syphilol. 1951;64(2):207-208. doi:10.1001/archderm.1951.01570080091017

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Various antihistaminic drugs have been incorporated in ointments or lotions for local use in the control of pruritic dermatoses of both allergic and nonallergic etiology. A considerable degree of symptomatic relief has been reported, although the present consensus of most investigators is that these drugs are of very limited value when applied locally in severe and extensive cases of atopic dermatitis (disseminated neurodermatitis). Their most conspicuous success has probably been in lichen simplex chronicus (localized neurodermatitis), a nonallergic disorder, apparently because of a direct local anesthetic action, which thus helps to break up the "itching-scratching" vicious cycle and frequently results in a favorable response by helping the patient to help himself. Many cases of pruritus ani, pruritus vulvae and pruritus scroti have responded for similar reasons.

However, there has been, unfortunately, an increasing number of reports of an all too high incidence of sensitization to the locally applied antihistaminic preparations.

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