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Regular Departments
August 1973

Soap Photodermatitis

Arch Dermatol. 1973;108(2):292. doi:10.1001/archderm.1973.01620230078038

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This compact 181-page textbook is a comprehensive monograph concerning a most fascinating and recently defined medical problem, photodermatitis. Its chapters, written in a concise and lucid manner, contain material of relevance for dermatologists, photobiologists, immunologists, as well as members of industry concerned with household products and consumer protection.

The authors have wisely presented, in the early chapters, a simple review of the biochemistry and biophysics necessary to understand how thousands of individuals developed adverse cutaneous reactions following the use of soaps containing selected antibacterial agents known as halogenated salicylanilides. They discuss studies of diverse investigators, demonstrating that the underlying mechanism of action in this particular photodermatitis is an immunologic one of the cell-mediated, delayed hypersensitivity type. In this reaction, light photochemically alters the halogenated salicylanilide into an active photohapten. The authors are well qualified to present this scientific material, for their own macrophage inhibition studies contributed greatly to a better

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