Infection or bacterial invasion plays a great role in eczematous dermatoses, contact dermatitis, as well as atopic and seborrheic dermatitis, and especially in bacterial eczemas. The importance of this infectious factor has been reemphasized in recent years, partially through experimental studies,1 and largely through the beneficial effect of antibiotics used in these conditions.
Dermatologists have been aware of this state of affairs, and have added antiseptics or antibiotics to ointments and lotions more or less routinely. Some of these antiseptics, such as ammoniated mercury, sulfonamides, and penicillin, are rather sensitizing; others, such as Rivanol (2-ethoxy-6, 9-diaminoacridinium) and methylrosaniline chloride (gentian violet), are staining; still others, like most broad-spectrum antibiotics, are quite expensive.
Searching for a nonstaining, inexpensive antiseptic with a low sensitizing index,* I found hexachlorophene a very satisfactory antiseptic in dermatological practice. The following is a report on hexachlorophene in the treatment of eczematous
EPSTEIN S, Wenzel FJ. Hexachlorophene (G-11) in the Treatment of Eczematous Dermatoses. AMA Arch Derm. 1955;71(6):692–695. doi:10.1001/archderm.1955.01540300014004
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