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May 1971


Author Affiliations

San Mateo Medical Clinic 23 Baldwin Ave San Mateo, Calif 94401

Arch Dermatol. 1971;103(5):562. doi:10.1001/archderm.1971.04000170096022

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To the Editor.—  The communication, "Neomycin Sensitivity in the Normal (Nonatopic) Individual," by Patrick et al in the Archives (102:532, 1970) discussed a subject grossly neglected by dermatologists, namely, what is the incidence of contact sensitivities in persons without skin disease. I have some misgivings about their methods and conclusions. It was surprising that eight of 100 individuals without skin disease were found allergic to neomycin. It is possible that their sample had an unusually large pool of patients allergic to neomycin, yet their figures seem strangely high since most investigators studying series of patients with eczematous dermatoses suspected of being contact dermatitis find an incidence of neomycin allergy of 8% to 14%.I have serious reservations about the neomycin testing performed, as the results given in their Table 2 show a striking discrepancy between the intradermal and patch tests. When properly performed, the intradermal test with 1% neomycin

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