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February 5, 1955


JAMA. 1955;157(6):503-505. doi:10.1001/jama.1955.02950230017008

Boric acid has been used in solution in the therapy of dermatitis and as a constituent of body powders for over 75 years. Ointments containing up to 10% of the chemical have, likewise, a long record of usefulness in the treatment of minor irritations of the body surface. During the last war, as a result of the discovery of the toxic property of tannic acid when applied to burns of large areas of the body, boric acid became widely used in the treatment of burns. Experimental studies by Pfeiffer, Hallman, and Gersh1 and clinical observations by Cope2 indicated that there was a significant absorption of boric acid when it was applied as a 10% ointment on large areas from which the skin had been removed or burned. The latter author found that up to 2 gm. of boric acid might be excreted by patients in a 24 hour

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