Medicine: Anti Burn & Itch

Besieged by patients seeking remedies for common midsummer ills, U.S. doctors this year have more fancy preparations than ever to work with, but find themselves caught in a crossfire of controversy over safety and effectiveness.

Sunburn. Easily the most burning question concerns suntan pills derived from an ancient Egyptian herb remedy. A few years ago, U.S. researchers extracted the weed's potent chemical, 8-methoxy-psoralen, or 8-MOP for short, thought it might help thin-skinned sun seekers tan without burning (TIME, Oct. 17, 1955). Then the team split. One member, the University of Oregon's Dr. Thomas B. Fitzpatrick, concluded that 8-MOP actually makes burns more...

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