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April 11, 1980

Agent Orange and Skin Rash— A Different Experience

Author Affiliations

Oklahoma City

JAMA. 1980;243(14):1422-1423. doi:10.1001/jama.1980.03300400012012

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To the Editor.—  Gilbert Bogen, MD, writes (242:2391, 1979) that 85% of a group of Vietnam war veterans exposed to Agent Orange experienced a resistant "rash," presumably caused by Agent Orange. This differs greatly from my experience. Over the past four months, I have examined 16 veterans with histories of Agent Orange exposure, at the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Oklahoma City. The intensities of exposures among these patients varied from a single, mild, indirect exposure to affected vegetation, to repeated, heavy, direct cutaneous exposures over a three-year period.Only two of the patients experienced any indication of skin disease at the time of exposure. One reported a transient burning sensation on exposed skin, and another reported transient burning and redness. None of them, at the time of my examination, related any history of a subsequent eruption that might have been caused by a chemical irritant, nor did any exhibit