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Methylbenzethonium Chloride in the Care of Skin of Infants and Children

AMA Am J Dis Child. 1955;89(5):596-598. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1955.02050110710012.
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Diaper rash (ammonia dermatitis) has been demonstrated to be caused by urea-splitting organisms which act on the urine to produce ammonia.1 Several antiseptics have been reported to be effective against these bacteria.

The reports * that poisoning of infants occurred by transcutaneous absorption of boric acid used as an ointment or powder on areas of diaper rash stimulated us to make a further selective evaluation of the toxicity and efficacy of the antiseptic methylbenzethonium chloride in controlling diaper rash and intertrigo. Available commercially,† the antiseptic was studied in the form of a dusting powder‡ and in an ointment.§

GENERAL PLAN OF STUDY  Methylbenzethonium chloride diaper rinse and the ointment were already patch-tested and reported on.∥ The following plan of study was therefore adopted.

  1. Bacteriological studies against urea-splitting organisms of corn starch and 1: 1800 methylbenzethonium chloride applied as a dusting powder.

  1. Sensitivity studies of dusting powder applied to


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