Cutaneous Sensitivity To Monoglycerol Para-Aminobenzoate

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PARA-AMINOBENZOIC acid, hereinafter referred to as PABA, and its metallic salts are used in the treatment of such diseases as lupus erythematosus, dermatomyositis, the rickettsial diseases, dermatitis herpetiformis, scrub and murine typhus fevers, rheumatic fever, leukemia and vitiligo. Many of the local anesthetics such as procaine, monocaine, pontocaine and butyn are derivatives of PABA as well as certain of the so-called skin analgesics including benzocaine and butesin.

Rothman and Rubin1 recently discussed the sunburn preventive effect of PABA, incorporated in ointment bases and lotions. As a result of this preventative action, certain of the alkyl and alcoholic agents derived from PABA are the principal constituents of commercial lotions. We know of two such preparations, one of which contains monoglycerol para-aminobenzoate and the other propylene glycol para-aminobenzoate. There is evidence that internal organs, the liver and hematopoietic system, may become sensitized to PABA. Systematic reactions and eczematous contact-type dermatitis are well known phenomena produced by local anesthetics and skin analgesics. Dyes, such as the azo variety, paraphenylenediamine, and aniline frequently sensitize the skin as do the sulfonamides. These two groups of compounds are closely related to PABA and its derivatives in molecular structure because of the common aminobenzene nucleus (H2N C6H5) and the often structurally allied side chains. The similarity in molecular structure may be said to be the basis for cross sensitization.

Clinically, this cross sensitization has been extensively studied in contact dermatitis. Sulzberger et al2 observed positive reactions to patch tests with PABA in persons who showed cross reactions. . .



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