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We recently encountered a 43-year-old woman with perioral dermatitis, macular hypopigmentation, and early cutaneous atrophy of her forehead and cheeks. On questioning, she produced a 30-g tube of 0.05% clobetasol propionate (Dermovate), manufactured in England. The patient reported purchasing this medicine for $7 without prescription at a corner pharmacy in Brooklyn, NY. No instructions or warnings regarding the use of this product had been provided at time of purchase. The patient had applied three tubes of 30 g each of this medicine to her face before visiting our clinic. She refused to supply the name of the pharmacy from which the product had been purchased and refused to have photographs taken of her steroidinduced cutaneous changes.
We do not know the route by which a class 1 topical corticosteroid preparation such as this becomes available over-the-counter in Brooklyn, but we suspect that the medicine had been illegally imported. Regardless, the
Otley CC, Sober A. Over-the-Counter Clobetasol Propionate. Arch Dermatol. 1994;130(1):121. doi:10.1001/archderm.1994.01690010127030