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August 1976

Dermatitis Medicamentosa: A Pitfall for the Unwary

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Arch Dermatol. 1976;112(8):1178-1179. doi:10.1001/archderm.1976.01630320076032

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To the Editor.—  We would like to bring your attention to a potentially dangerous situation involving two widely different but commonly prescribed topical medications.A 40-year-old woman had been seen by several physicians during a threeyear period for treatment of a mild perioral dermatitis. When she arrived in this area, she was seen by a dermatologist who prescribed several modes of therapy, with minimal success, before finally prescribing 0.05% fluocinonide ointment. During the next four weeks, her rash became progressively worse. She was seen in consultation with other dermatologists, and their differential diagnosis included polymorphous light eruption, systemic lupus erythematosus, pemphigus erythematosus, and airborne contact dermatitis. She was referred to our service for further examination. She had a severe, eczematous, painful, facial dermatitis with a papular telangiectatic component sparing the upper eyelids.When her topical medications were analyzed, it was discovered that the pharmacy had inadvertently given her 5%

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