Acne Can Be a Social Handicap

By Johanna Goldberg, Information Services Librarian

This is the second in an intermittent series of blogs featuring advertisements from medical journals. You can find the first here.

The ads below come from two dermatology journals—the first five from the Journal of Investigative Dermatology and the last from the International Journal of Dermatology—and span nearly two decades. They promise not only a better quality of life through medical intervention, but also show cultural standards of work, social interaction, and beauty.

1955: We love the cartoon depictions of each gendered occupation, barefoot sailor and all.

1955: We love the cartoon depictions of each gendered occupation, barefoot sailor and all.

1955: Only people with perfect skin drink martinis.

1955: Only people with perfect skin drink martinis.

1955: Why do these “adolescents” look 40+?

1955: Why do these “adolescents” look 40+?

1963: Probably coincidentally, this ad appeared the same year The Bell Jar was published.

1963: Probably coincidentally, this ad appeared the same year The Bell Jar was published.

1963: Grenz rays are a mild form of radiation widely used from the 1940s–1970s to treat inflammatory skin diseases. While some practitioners still use Grenz rays, evidence of their efficacy remains limited.1,2

1963: Grenz rays are a mild form of radiation widely used from the 1940s–1970s to treat inflammatory skin diseases. While some practitioners still use Grenz rays, evidence of their efficacy remains limited.¹,²

1973: Nothing like nudity to convince doctors to recommend a medicated powder.

1973: Nothing like nudity to convince doctors to recommend a medicated powder.

 

1. Lindelöf, B., & Eklund, G. (1986). Incidence of malignant skin tumors in 14,140 patients after grenz-ray treatment for benign skin disorders. Archives of Dermatology, 122(12), 1391–1395.

2. National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). (2010, March 30). Grenz rays therapy for inflammatory skin conditions (interventional procedures consultation). Guidance/interventional procedures. Retrieved April 24, 2013 from http://www.nice.org.uk

2 thoughts on “Acne Can Be a Social Handicap

  1. Fascinating! My uncle received some sort of X-ray treatment for acne (WAY back in the day – maybe the 1930s), and he subsequently (in his sixties) developed skin cancer, which was eventually fatal. The latest medical fads are certainly not necessarily benign. I fear our unrestrained use of ultrasound during pregnancy will prove to be another “unintentional medical experiment.”

    • You know that ultrasound is not even remotely carcinogenic? They’re sound waves…non-ionizing radiation. You might as well be scared of a pregnant woman listening to a radio. Actually, her cell phone is probably more dangerous than the ultrasound.

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