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To the Editor.—
The article by Kaidbey et al titled "Topical Colchicine Therapy for Recalcitrant Psoriasis" in the Archives (111:33-36,1975) suggests use of another chemotherapeutic agent for the topical treatment of psoriasis. The authors, unfortunately, have neglected to provide adequate controls, an essential feature for the validity of a clinical study. Colchicine incorporated in hydrophilic petrolatum was allegedly responsible for the resolution of the psoriatic plaques, with distant, untreated psoriatic lesions serving as controls. In addition, the article was vague about whether control lesions were also "scrubbed vigorously in a daily bath to remove excess scales."It cannot be concluded from this study that colchicine in petrolatum is superior to either hydrophilic petrolatum alone or hydrophilic petrolatum combined with some other drug, such as erythromycin or vitamin E.In conclusion, adequate controls in clinical investigations should include untreated areas as well as areas treated with the drug vehicle.
O'Connell JV, Karassik SL. Topical Colchicine Therapy. Arch Dermatol. 1975;111(9):1213. doi:10.1001/archderm.1975.01630210129018