Toilet seat dermatitis

In the early 20th century toilet seat dermatitis, a condition which causes skin irritation around the buttocks and upper thighs and can lead to painful and itchy skin eruptions if not dealt with, was not uncommon and was blamed on the varnish, lacquer and paints used on wooden toilet seats.

When most home owners switched to plastic toilet seats, the condition declined dramatically but a new study reported in Pediatrics suggests that the conditions is once more on the increase partially because of the renewed popularity of wooden seats but also as a result harsh chemical cleaners used on toilet seats in public places.

In two of the cases described in the study, the children's toilet seat dermatitis had been caused by their school’s use of chemical cleaners, containing ingredients such as didecyl dimethyl ammonium chloride and alkyl dimethyl benzyl ammonium chloride, which have previously been documented to cause severe skin irritation.

The researchers suggested the use of toilet seat covers in public places and plastic toilet seats in the home.

Litvinov, I. Pediatrics, February 2010; vol 125: pp e419-e422.

Courtesy of WebMD

First published January 2010


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