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January 2017

Albert Montgomery Kligman—Remembering a Pioneer of Topical Treatment

Author Affiliations
  • 1Departments of Dermatology, Venereology, Allergology, and Immunology, Dessau Medical Center, Dessau, Germany
JAMA Dermatol. 2017;153(1):65. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2016.0127

Burgdorf et al1 reminded me of the time of my dermatology residency, when the person’s name given to the variant of the pharmacotherapy formulation or the physical treatment (Goeckerman treatment or the Ingram regimen of light therapy) was required knowledge for an upcoming dermatologist and a guarantee of quality and therapeutic success.

Therefore, I am honored to add to the list of topical treatments Kligman’s ointment or formula, a compounded formulation that consists of hydroquinone, 5%; tretinoin, 0.1%; and dexamethasone, 0.1%, in hydrophilic ointment.2 The formulation was developed by Albert Montgomery Kligman, MD (1916-2010), from the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, a prominent and controversial academic, practicing dermatologist. The compounded formulation is still used to treat melasma, ephelides, and postinflammatory hyperpigmentation. As the authors noted in their original publication, depigmentation cannot be attained when any one of the components is omitted.2

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