Medicine: Mah Jongg Dermatitis

"Dermatitis" or inflammation of the skin due to special sensitivity to the lacquer on Mah Jongg boxes is a new disease that has attracted the attention of physicians. The Chinese and Japanese employ a lacquer which is an extract from a Japanese plant known as Rhus vernicifera, of the same variety as Rhus toxicodendron or "poison-ivy." When people who are susceptible get the lacquer on their fingers or skin, a burning and itching sensation develops within 24 to 48 hours. There may be red spots and blisters as in typical poision-ivy eruption. By...

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