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January 1956


Author Affiliations

1726 M St., N. W. Washington 6, D. C.

AMA Arch Derm. 1956;73(1):76. doi:10.1001/archderm.1956.01550010077015

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To the Editor:—. . . The questions are based upon a rather "free" use of the terms "allergen" and "allergic contact dermatitis." The relationship between a soap dermatitis and allergens has been investigated by many men. Recently, Jambor and Suskind reported (J. Invest. Dermat. 24:379, 1955) their study of the allergic qualities of cleansing agents in hand dermatitis. Patch tests were made with fresh solutions of soaps and detergents, and also included usage tests, bacteriologic and mycologic examinations, hemograms, and urinalysis. No specific reactions to soaps or detergents were elicited. Brunner (J. A. M. A. 154:894, 1954) presents strong evidence that "the so-called housewives' eczema is basically an external irritant dermatitis." On the basis of our work, we concur with these viewpoints. If the irritant is removed and/or the skin is protected from further trauma, the skin will heal. For the particular advice of the inquirer, many of our

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