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November 1958

The Oil Bath

Author Affiliations

Houston, Texas; Oklahoma City; Ann Arbor, Mich.

AMA Arch Derm. 1958;78(5):642. doi:10.1001/archderm.1958.01560110088015

The beneficial effects derived from applying oil to the skin have been known for centuries. The Bible frequently speaks of "anointing the skin with oil." In an attempt to find a simple, effective, and esthetically pleasing method of lubricating the entire body surface, we formulated and introduced a practical oil bath. This investigation revealed that by adding a properly selected surface-active agent to an oil, the oil will disperse to infinity when stirred in water. This oil bath can be easily compounded by any pharmacist or physician.1 Thus, a truly practical oil bath was developed.

Although other surface-active agents can be utilized, the oil-soluble alkyl aryl polyether alcohols* are completely satisfactory. They are nonionic and relatively nonsensitizing surfactants. When our exhibit was presented, no statements were made regarding therapeutic results obtained with the oil bath. For the last four years the oil bath has been prescribed for various dermatological

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