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September 1992

Application of Glacial Acetic Acid to Penile Skin

Author Affiliations

Division of Dermatology University of Missouri Health Science Center M173 One Hospital Dr Columbia, MO 65212

Arch Dermatol. 1992;128(9):1279. doi:10.1001/archderm.1992.01680190139028

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To the Editor.—  Application of glacial acetic acid to thin skin produces quick dehydration of the epidermis, causing the familiar "cosmetic peel" of the skin. It sometimes also produces some deeper erosions and sustained inflammation. If the reports we hear are occasionally correct, physicians in many clinics have produced this particular sort of skin peeling on the penises of patients with condyloma. This error is made by substituting glacial acetic acid from the stock bottle for the diluted 2% to 5% aqueous solution of acetic acid that is used customarily as a soak to delineate condyloma on the penis. An actual case was referred to us, as an emergency, and we were able to conduct a close follow-up. In summary, the injury, although painful, did not cause the patient any severe or lasting disability.Almost instantly on the application to the penis of a gauze well soaked in glacial acetic

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