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November 1972

Photoallergic Contact Dermatitis to Chloro-2-phenylphenol

Author Affiliations

Palo Alto, Calif

From the Department of Dermatology, Palo Alto Medical Clinic, Palo Alto, Calif.

Arch Dermatol. 1972;106(5):711-714. doi:10.1001/archderm.1972.01620140055015

Among the large number of phenolic compounds, only bithionol, halogenated salicylanilides, hexachlorophene, and dichlorophene have gained wide acceptance as contact photoallergens. Nevertheless, the incidence of photocontact dermatitis to these compounds is quite small. This report describes photocontact dermatitis to a simple phenolic compound, Dowicide 32 (a mixture of 4-chloro-2-phenylphenol and 6-chloro-2-phenylphenol), occurring in four workers out of the relatively small population of employees and students of a junior college district, where the substance was employed as a germicidal agent in a liquid soap. It seems likely that the incidence of photocontact dermatitis would be very high if a large segment of the general population should contact this substance. The possible role of ultraviolet in producing the dermatitis is also discussed.

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