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February 24, 1945


JAMA. 1945;127(8):439-442. doi:10.1001/jama.1945.02860080011003

Almost every day skin lesions are observed that have been made worse by imprudent topical therapy. Even neoplasms are not spared from the "put something on it" impulse. A similar situation must exist on the West Coast, because at a forum on Overtreatment in Dermatology Miller1 stated that "a comparatively large number of patients in routine dermatologic practice are forced to seek treatment because of irritation from remedies applied and not due to their primary complaints." Apparently all that the skin has to do is to complain a little—an evanescent erythema or pruritus—and it is impulsively daubed with the nearest thing at hand. This practice often causes needless complications, loss of gainful work, unnecessary expense and hospitalization, even the acquiring of cutaneous sensitization.

PLAN OF STUDY  While the routine dermatologic history was being taken the previous treatment was recorded in sequence. A duplicate list of these preparations was given