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January 1993

The Art and Science of Dermatology

Author Affiliations

Brodell Medical Inc 2660 E Market St Warren, OH 44483

Arch Dermatol. 1993;129(1):42-43. doi:10.1001/archderm.1993.01680220054010

To the Editor.—  I applaud the efforts of Drs Robinson and Salasche1 in their recent editorial to promote the science of dermatology. The days of "wetting it when it's dry and drying it when it's wet" as the basis of dermatologic practice are gone. However, it would be a great error if representatives of the Food and Drug Administration read this editorial and interpreted a groundswell of support for the "need to refrain from widely prescribing available drugs, devices, or new techniques before an appropriate clinical trial is completed," eg, eliminating the use of medications for nonapproved indications. I believe there is no support for this among private practitioners of dermatology. Medicine is an art based on science. There never will be prospective controlled clinical trials with large numbers of patients to answer all of our questions.For the patient with severe discoid lupus erythematosus on the face, the

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