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April 2017

Beauty Patches

Author Affiliations
  • 1The University of Texas Medical Branch School of Medicine, Galveston
JAMA Dermatol. 2017;153(4):278. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2016.0623

Driven by our instinctive desire to enhance the beauty of the skin, over millennia we have developed a vast arsenal of products and treatments. Spanning the history of cosmetics, people have tried anything and everything to enhance their skin as well as hide imperfections. The use of patches to cover up skin flaws started in ancient Rome. The Romans were not terribly fond of wrinkles, freckles, sunspots, and blemishes so they devised a way to cover them up using soft leather patches of alum. These patches were pasted above the perceived imperfections and passed off as beauty marks. Beyond aesthetic purposes, these patches were also used by criminals and former slaves to conceal brand marks.1

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