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Community perceptions about the use of black salve

      To the Editor: Black salve describes a group of products that contain the escharotic agents zinc chloride and sanguinarine.
      • Eastman K.L.
      • McFarland L.V.
      • Raugi G.J.
      A review of topical corrosive black salve.
      Despite numerous side effects and a lack of predictable response, individuals continue to choose self-treatment of benign and cancerous skin lesions with black salve in the place of conventional medical therapy.
      • Osswald S.S.
      • Elston D.M.
      • Farley M.F.
      • Alberti J.G.
      • Cordero S.C.
      • Kalasinsky V.F.
      Self-treatment of a basal cell carcinoma with “black and yellow salve.”.
      • Ma L.
      • Dharamsi J.W.
      • Vandergriff T.
      Black salve as self-treatment for cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma.
      • Payne C.E.
      “Black salve” and melanomas.
      To understand the factors that patients consider when choosing black salve, we surveyed 340 adult patients in primary care and dermatology clinics. Follow-up interviews were performed with 18 of 23 subjects who reported using black salve. The interviews were conducted in a semistructured format, which allowed the exploration of interesting and unexpected themes raised by participants. The generalizability of our study is limited as our population was predominantly from rural ZIP codes and from a Department of Veterans Affairs medical center.
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      References

        • Eastman K.L.
        • McFarland L.V.
        • Raugi G.J.
        A review of topical corrosive black salve.
        J Altern Complement Med. 2014; 20: 284-289
        • Osswald S.S.
        • Elston D.M.
        • Farley M.F.
        • Alberti J.G.
        • Cordero S.C.
        • Kalasinsky V.F.
        Self-treatment of a basal cell carcinoma with “black and yellow salve.”.
        J Am Acad Dermatol. 2005; 53: 508-510
        • Ma L.
        • Dharamsi J.W.
        • Vandergriff T.
        Black salve as self-treatment for cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma.
        Dermatitis. 2012; 23: 239-240
        • Payne C.E.
        “Black salve” and melanomas.
        J Plast Reconstr Aesthet Surg. 2011; 64: 422
      1. NVivo. Available from: URL: http://www.qsrinternational.com/products_nvivo.aspx. Accessed February 23, 2016.