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October 1960

New Occupational Dermatosis

Author Affiliations

M.R.C.P., Victoria, B.C., Canada

Arch Dermatol. 1960;82(4):642. doi:10.1001/archderm.1960.01580040160032

Observation of a recent case leads me to report a new "occupation" dermatosis. A 27-year-old Chinese man reported with a low-grade folliculitis of six weeks' duration of body and arms, most marked around the axillary and pubic areas. His recreational occupation is skin diving, and his practice for this is to change into his suit at home and drive to the sea. Before putting on the suit the skin is powdered with cornstarch. Prior to entering the sea perspiration inside the suit is excessive. Treatment consisted in advising the use of an inert dusting powder instead of the cornstarch. Resolution was complete in two weeks despite continued skin diving three to four times each week.

It is also of interest that this man reports frequent development of furuncles among his skin diving friends. Presumably the starch and moisture provide a goal culture medium for the growth of bacteria.

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