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October 1984

Cosmetic (?) Surgery

Author Affiliations

Clinical Professor Department of Dermatology University of Texas Medical School at Houston 703 Hermann Professional Bldg Houston, TX 77030

Arch Dermatol. 1984;120(10):1279. doi:10.1001/archderm.1984.01650460019002

To the Editor.—  Congratulations to Stegman and Tromovitch1 for writing and to the editors for printing the informative review article entitled "Cosmetic Dermatologic Surgery." But the title, abstract, and text should not imply that the article deals only with office treatment of several "cosmetic" (sic) problems. Perhaps a more accurate title would have been "Dermatologic Surgery for Selected Benign Lesions and Cosmetic Problems."Pain, tenderness, and interference with normal movement caused by an enlarging mass (hypertrophic scar, keloid) are not cosmetic problems. Whereas mild acne may be considered within the range of normalcy, acne that produces scarring is surely an abnormal pathologic disease process and surgical procedures to correct the defects so produced are not merely cosmetic in nature. They are designed to help the patient attain a more normally functioning and symptom-free skin (which the patient had prior to the active disease). They are not used in an

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