The effect of site on the irritant dermatitis potential was studied in 10 subjects using the volar surface of the forearm. Erythema scoring and transepidermal water loss (TEWL) measurements were used to assess irritation at different levels on the forearm. A sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS 2 g/v%) solution was used as a standard irritant in a patch test procedure and on open tests. Both the erythema scores and measurements of the TEWL of exposed skin showed significant localization differences, and demonstrated that the same sites on the forearm should be used for irritancy tests and possibly physiological studies.