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March 1984

Role of Socks in Shoe Dermatitis

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Dermatology, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta.

Arch Dermatol. 1984;120(3):398. doi:10.1001/archderm.1984.01650390120027

Rubber compounds are among the sensitizing chemicals identified as causing contact dermatitis of the feet.1 Patients afflicted with this disorder frequently purchase and wear white 100% cotton socks in an attempt to improve their dermatitis. I report herein the persistence of one of these rubber chemicals, mercaptobenzothiazole, in such socks after both washing and boiling.

Report of a Case  A 46-year-old man with a persistent dermatitis of the feet was visited by his mother-in-law who saw the bilateral eczematous eruption and pronounced his socks "infected." She proceeded to boil his socks. This resulted in a clinical improvement of his condition of six to eight weeks' duration. The eruption returned and he was referred to me by his family physician for further examination.Physical examination disclosed an eczematous eruption on the dorsum of each foot with sparing of the interdigital webs and the soles. Potassium hydroxide scrapings were negative for

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