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I desire to call attention to the value and efficiency of common coal-tar in the treatment of certain types of eczema. This substance, a dark, thick, semi-liquid, is obtained as a product of the dry distillation of bituminous coal and contains a number of active chemicals, carbolic acid and creosote being among the most important. It can be purchased from any of the large roofing or paving companies for about 25 cents a gallon.
It is particularly indicated in the chronic, recurrent form of the disease in which the skin is dry, cracked and scaly, with considerable papillary hypertrophy and but slight thickening of the outer layers of the epidermis. Eruptions of such a type are frequently seen about the knuckles, especially as a sequel to repeated attacks of an occupation dermatitis, or are at times manifested without apparent cause on the shins, forearms or other parts of the body.
SUTTON RL. COAL-TAR IN CHRONIC ECZEMA. JAMA. 1908;LI(6):497. doi:10.1001/jama.1908.25410060047002d
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