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To the Editor.—
We have read the article in the Archives by Munro et al (113:599-601, 1977) with interest.It is a little difficult to understand how a white cream, 0.05% fluocinonide (Lidex/Metosyn), and a vaseline-like ointment, 0.1% betamethasone valerate (Valisone/Betnovate) could be self-administered and yet not be differentiated by the patients. Thus the descriptor "double-blind" is perhaps not entirely appropriate for the patients, even though an attempt was made to blind the investigators.Given the difference in these results from the several other trials quoted, we would have liked to see not only the "approximation" assessments reported (patient/physician preferences), but also the clearly more numerous clinical observations that were recorded, particularly because the patients were not blinded. While preferences may well have been shown elsewhere to be generally representative of clinical observations, we have nothing to show us that such a correlation indeed existed in this study.Somewhat unusually,
Robins DS. Studies on Betamethasone Valerate vs Fluocinonide. Arch Dermatol. 1978;114(4):623-624. doi:10.1001/archderm.1978.01640160089033