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December 3, 1973

Double-Blind Studies in Dermatology

JAMA. 1973;226(10):1229-1230. doi:10.1001/jama.1973.03230100051021

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To the Editor.—  Dr. Albert Kligman in the Septemer 24 issue of The Journal (225;1658-1659) took issue with our findings (Arch Dermatol 107:870-881, 1973) in which we reported a favorable effect of desonide (a new non-fluorinated steroid) from a double-blind study. He labeled the result "spurious."Doctor Kligman is a keen and experienced dermatologist, as well as a seasoned clinical investigator. He is, of course, correct when he points out that the mere fact of a study being done double-blind does not insure the validity of its conclusions. Mild seborrheic dermatitis does respond quickly to even very weak corticosteroid creams, and severe cases of allergic contact dermatitis, such as those induced by poison ivy, do seem to run a course that is influenced only slightly, if at all, by topical corticosteroids.The study in question called for the use of these topical steroids only on dermatoses in which their use