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Blister Beetle, Cantharidin, Molluscum Contagiosum, Spanish Fly



  1. Pham, Quy
  2. Jacob, Sharon E.


ABSTRACT: By definition, a drug is a medicine or substance that exerts a physiologic effect on an organism. In dermatology, medications and substances are utilized on a daily basis from topical treatments to anesthetics in micrographic surgery. The purpose of this column is to focus on some of the more common drugs used in dermatology, specifically their mechanism of action, how they are utilized, and routine alternatives (if available). This article revisits the history of cantharidin; discusses its role in dermatology with an emphasis on the mechanism of action, adverse effects, and how it compares with alternative treatment options; and highlights the future implications in medical therapy.