In 1949, Reiss and Doherty1 reported on the beneficial effect of Podophyllum resin ointment in the treatment of ringworm of the scalp. Preliminary clinical trials with this agent by us in scalp infections due to Microsporon audouini yielded apparently encouraging results. Our subsequent controlled studies, with 0.2% podophyllin in carbowax® applied twice daily, showed that our initial enthusiasm was unwarranted.
In three cases of our earlier series, an interesting form of alopecia developed during treatment. This was assumed to be a toxic effect of the podophyllin, as noted by Goldman,2 but efforts to understand its mechanism, to control the hair loss, or to use this as a therapeutic measure have been unsuccessful. In none of the children studied was there any evidence of systemic toxic reaction.
REPORT OF A CASE
B. D., a 5-year-old Negro boy, was seen on July 12, 1949, in the Dermatology Clinic of
Schwebel S, Snyder W, Slinger WN. INEFFECTIVENESS AND TOXICITY OF PODOPHYLLIN IN TREATMENT OF TINEA CAPITIS. JAMA. 1952;149(3):261. doi:10.1001/jama.1952.72930200004011a