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April 1995

Effects of 0.1% Retinoic Acid on Bateman's Actinic Purpura

Author Affiliations

Division of Dermatology Department of Medicine University of Utah Health Sciences Center Salt Lake City, UT 84132

Arch Dermatol. 1995;131(4):493-495. doi:10.1001/archderm.1995.01690160123027

Actinic or senile purpura was first described and recorded by Bateman1 in 1836 when he noted ''dark purple blotches'' on the outer surfaces of elderly women. These lesions are quite common on sundamaged and forearm skin (11.9%) in people who are older than 50 years.2 Actinic purpura lesions are reported to last 10 to 14 days and cause emotional distress to afflicted patients.33 In our clinic, we noted dramatic improvement in a 65-year-old woman who presented with more than 10 purpuric lesions on each arm and significant photodamage. She was instructed to treat her arms with 0.1% retinoic acid cream twice daily and for the first time in ''years'' had no lesions at follow-up 4 months later. Thus, we designed a double-blind study to evaluate the effects of retinoic acid on the frequency and occurrence of these lesions.

Observations.  Fourteen healthy patients 60 to 80 years

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