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August 1992

The Rule of Hand: 4 Hand Areas=2 FTU=1 g

Author Affiliations

Department of Dermatology University of Wales College of Medicine Cardiff, Wales CF4 4XN; 474 Main St Greenfield, MA 01301

Arch Dermatol. 1992;128(8):1129-1130. doi:10.1001/archderm.1992.01680180125022

To the Editor.—  Dermatology patients need advice on how much ointment or cream to apply. The instructions given to patients concerning topical therapy are frequently vague. This may be because of difficulty in assessing how much topical therapy is required to cover the affected areas.We have investigated a method of rapidly assessing the extent of a patient's skin disease using the area of the flat of one closed hand as a measuring unit, a similar technique to that previously suggested by one of us (R.W.A.) and Kenneth A. Arndt, MD.1 If the number of "hands" of a patient's involved skin were known, the volume of medication required could be calculated. The patient could then be asked to apply the correct amount of treatment in a simple and readily understood manner.The height and weight of 50 patients (22 male and 28 female) were measured. From these measurements, their

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