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February 1961


Author Affiliations

915 19th St. N.W. Washington 6, D.C.

Arch Dermatol. 1961;83(2):322. doi:10.1001/archderm.1961.01580080152018

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To the Editor:—  The short report by Dr. L. E. Gaul entitled Sensitivity to Bithionol (A.M.A. Arch. Dermat. 81:660 [April] 1960) is a noteworthy addition to the literature on dermatitis venenata, adding, as it does, another substance to the never-ending list of chemicals which are capable of inducing cutaneous sensitivity. This bacteriostatic agent is an ingredient contained in a variety of skin creams which are being widely sold over the counter. Considering their wide use and the paucity of reports of allergic dermatitis, it would seem that bithionol has a low-sensitization index.The above is not surprising when it is realized that bithionol is structurally related to hexachlorophene, as indicated. (The Dispensatory of the United States of America, Ed. 25, Philadelphia, J. B. Lippincott Company, 1955):My purpose in writing is to bring out this relationship so that bithionol shall not be regarded as a mysterious new drug, but rather

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