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August 1972

Regarding Poriferal Immunology

Author Affiliations

Cambridge, Mass

Arch Dermatol. 1972;106(2):263-264. doi:10.1001/archderm.1972.01620110087026

To the Editor.—  In the expanding era of jet travel, new observations in marine toxicology and allergy should interest dermatologists. The field of poriferal immunology, in its infancy, shows promise.Clinically, contact with stinging sponge appears as a pink to dusky blotchy erythema involving the contact area of the palms and webs of the hand. Itching and burning may be quite severe. Some victims complain of swelling and stiffness, and macular areas become palpably elevated in some cases. In time, the reaction subsides leaving a residual fine scaling. Persistent solid edema of the hands and dyshidrosiform eruptions may follow the attack on rare occasions as noted by L. Goodman (written communication, January). A patient with erythema multiforme following sponge contact developed hay fever and remained allergic to pollen for ten years.1

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