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June 16, 1951


Author Affiliations

United States Air Force; Medical Corps, United States Army

From the United States Army Hospital, United States Military Academy, West Point, N. Y.

JAMA. 1951;146(7):612-614. doi:10.1001/jama.1951.03670070004002

Numerous treatments for Rhus dermatitis are mentioned in textbooks of dermatology, and a writer on the subject is likely to be surprised by interest shown by the lay press and by many laymen volunteering cures involving various herbs or chemicals. The many remedies advocated by physicians and the laity testify both to unscientific thinking and to difficulties involved in controlled investigations.

Treatment of 70 patients with ivy dermatitis with tripelennamine (pyribenzamine®) hydrochloride cream and calamine lotion, in the summer of 1949, led to the conclusions that further trials with tripelennamine locally were desirable and that a local anesthetic such as dibucaine (nupercainal®) would be preferable to calamine lotion for comparison with agents believed to have curative effects.1 In addition, investigation of other recommended remedies might result in finding a treatment that could be shown to accelerate recovery from Rhus dermatitis.

Investigation and evaluation of a proposed treatment for ivy

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