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April 1956

Zinc Oxide: A New, Pink, Refractive, Microform Crystal

Author Affiliations

Lynn, Mass.; Boston; Rahway, N. J.

AMA Arch Derm. 1956;73(4):318-324. doi:10.1001/archderm.1956.01550040012003


Zinc oxide has been used as a dermatotherapeutic agent for a long time. Pliny the Elder mentioned the use of zinc oxide.1 The standard texts of the latter half of the 19th century mention zinc oxide so casually and so consistently that we may assume it has been used in dermatological formulations for the past 100 years to about the same degree as we are using it today. In the course of a not too profound search for the pharmacology of zinc oxide, the absence of any extensive studies was both striking and unexpected. During a discussion of this subject, one of us (B. A.), who has been teaching and practicing dermatology for 30 years, was startled by the realization that he could not give a very profound pharmacological answer to the question, "Why do you prescribe zinc oxide?'' An unstudied answer to this ques

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