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May 1965

Flubber Dermatitis

Author Affiliations


Head of the Section of Dermatology, University of Kansas School of Medicine, Kansas City, Kan.

Arch Dermatol. 1965;91(5):465-468. doi:10.1001/archderm.1965.01600110051011

IN THE spring of 1963 an "outbreak" of dermatitis was thought to be related to a toy called Flubber, a semi-solid rubber-like compound, which was placed on sale in the Kansas City area in February of 1963.

Shortly after children began playing with this toy a large percentage of them developed an itching skin irritation, primarily on the face.

My first patients were two sisters who had a mild pruritic eruption on the face and neck (Fig 1).

Several school nurses reported to the Kansas City office of the Food and Drug Administration that there was an "epidemic" of skin rashes on children. The toy, Flubber, was implicated. A poll of several schools revealed that 97 of 274(35%) children who owned the toy developed the rash.

At the request of the FDA a series of tests on 118 subjects were undertaken with the chemicals incorporated in Flubber or used

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