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January 2016

Remembering the Pioneers of Topical Agents

Author Affiliations
  • 1Klinikum der Universitat Munchen, Munich, Germany
  • 2Private practice
    † Deceased.
JAMA Dermatol. 2016;152(1):72. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2014.3620

While everyone remembers seeing a traveling salesman pushing “Dr Smith’s Wonder Pills” or something similar in a Class B Western movie, many have forgotten that several serious dermatologic preparations carry the name of a colleague of the past. These former mainstays of dermatologic therapy are disappearing because proof of efficacy is lacking, a declining interest in compounding them, and the inclusion of ingredients no longer deemed suitable for topical use. We recall a few examples that, a generation ago, were prescribed daily by almost every dermatologist.

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