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September 1962


Author Affiliations

35 E. 35th St. New York 16

Arch Dermatol. 1962;86(3):267. doi:10.1001/archderm.1962.01590090009003

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To the Editor:—  During the past 2 years I have seen 4 cases of dermatitis of the eyelids for which no definite sensitizing agent or irritant could be found.All cases had 2 characteristics in common, namely, contact dermatitis of eyelids bilaterally, with no other areas involved, and completely negative patch tests to all known cosmetics used by each of the individuals.The one common clue to the origin of this dermatitis was a history of applying the mascara after it had been wetted with saliva. Patch tests to saliva and salivamoistened mascara were negative. When each of the subjects was asked to stop this procedure, and steroid creams were applied to the eyelids, the dermatitis promptly subsided.Two of the 4 patients had subsquent recurrences of the dermatitis. However, each of the patients sheepishly admitted reverting back to the habit of wetting the mascara with saliva.The problem of

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