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February 19, 1973

Treatment of Fox-Fordyce Disease

JAMA. 1973;223(8):924. doi:10.1001/jama.1973.03220080054025

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To the Editor.—  I read with great interest Dr. Alfred J. Shapiro's question on treatment of Fox-Fordyce disease (222:1069, 1972) and Dr. Walter B. Shelley's expert answer. I would like to add to his advice a form of therapy, which I learned from my father, Felix Pinkus, MD, and which I found successful in several cases of this tormenting affection. Erythema doses of ultraviolet rays from a hot quartz ultraviolet lamp are given once a week to produce repeated exfoliation of the affected skin. The patient is advised to use talc freely for relief of the "sunburn," but not to use ointments or creams or any deodorants or other applications. Improvement usually follows the first or second treatment, and four to six treatments may produce a long-lasting remission.The rationale of this formerly quite empirical therapy is given in Dr. Shelley's own investigations, which established obstruction of the apocrine duct