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April 1968

Allergy to Perfumes From Toilet Soaps and Detergents in Patients With Dermatitis

Author Affiliations


From the Department of Dermatology, Finsen Institute, Copenhagen.

Arch Dermatol. 1968;97(4):417-421. doi:10.1001/archderm.1968.01610100057008

Patients (1,943, consecutive) with dermatitis have been examined with regard to sensitivity to perfumes from toilet soaps and detergents. Out of 78 patients, exactly 4% of each sex, showed postive reactions to perfumes and in three fourths of these cases, the reaction was found to be associated with sensitivity to benzyl salicylate.

Of the perfume-positive patients, 46% showed simultaneous reaction to wood tars and 23% to balsam of Peru. Of the patients positive to wood tars, 34% showed a simultaneous reaction to perfumes. Since only few had been treated with wood tars or balsam of Peru, primary sensitization to perfumes may contribute to the continued high incidence of sensitivity to wood tars and balsams.

Of the perfume-positive patients, 64% had dermatitis of the extremities which are habitually most exposed to soap and water.

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