Illustrative Cases of Contact Dermatitis

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Contact dermatitis is a term used to designate the inflammatory reaction which occurs in the skin of individuals following contact with substances to which they are sensitive. The types of agents which may produce a contact dermatitis vary greatly, are innumerable, and are distinguished from common irritants in that most individuals are not affected by single or repeated contacts with them. The medical literature is replete with articles which list the various agents capable of producing a dermatitis and each year new items are added. With the development of industry, the hazard from contact with chemicals has greatly increased the incidence of occupational dermatoses. Likewise, the almost universal use of cosmetics is responsible for a large number of cases of contact dermatitis involving the face, neck, and upper portions of the trunk. Weber1 has recently published a complete list of the irritants known to produce a dermatitis in susceptible individuals and his article is well worth the attention of anyone interested in this subject.

Since contact dermatitis is one of the most common of dermatological conditions, it would seem that a brief discussion of a few cases would be of interest.

Case 1: A married woman, 32 years of age, came to the Clinic because of an eruption in the axillae; this had been present for the preceding two months. Roentgen therapy and various topical applications had produced temporary relief, but she had continued to have recurrences and exacerbations of the eruption. The inflamed skin was so tender that she. . .



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