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Ed's Goeckermann Definition Needs Warning
from Dave W.

[Ed: Dave sent me this after reading Related to One of the "Worst Cases In History" in November's mail.]

Ed: You wrote:

The Goeckermann treatment, for those who may not have heard of it, is a therapeutic combination of tar application followed by light exposure. It can take several hours per session and, these days, usually takes place in P treatment centers.

I think it's important to note that the Goeckermann regimen works because coal tar is a strong photo sensitizer. Hearing about tar and light exposure might make some people want to slather on the tar and go outside to sunbathe, which is a recipe for a nasty burn. With in-clinic procedures, a measured dose of UVB is applied after the tar has "prepped" the skin. This allows for less exposure to UV light overall, and much less of the probably-non-therapeutic UVA.


Ed's Response: Thanks, Dave. Your caution is warranted AND appreciated. Take note all yee do-it-yourselfers. I alluded to the age of this therapy in the aforementioned correspondence as "beginning in the 1920s." Dave has provided more definition here, as well: "1925, Mayo Clinic."

Speaking of history, in their Sept/Oct 1999 Bulletin (Volume 30, Number 5), NPF has given us a "Chronology of Psoriasis" (begins on page 4). This is something I've quietly wished the NPF would provide for years now. Thank you NPF! This chronology corroborates Dave's date and place. -Ed

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