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To the Editor.—
There are serious questions that should be raised regarding the article by Marples et al in the Archives. The data presented in Tables 1 and 2 show two important facts: (1) that steroids alone had a beneficial "clinical" effect on infected skin lesions and (2) that the combination of steroids and antibiotics had no more beneficial effect than the antibiotics alone. However, it is stated in the article that "the severity of the reactions on sites where Staph aureus survived was clearly lessened by the steroid. The combination therefore was best." There are no data to support this statement. Rather, it is clear from the tables that there was no difference in any of the factors measured when steroids were added to the antibiotic combinations. (Note the reference to the brackets indicating no significant difference—What statistics?)Most distressing in this article were the extrapolations of these
Stocker WW. Further Comment on Combinations. Arch Dermatol. 1974;109(3):410. doi:10.1001/archderm.1974.01630030064023