Background There is a lack of consensus regarding appropriate nomenclature for drugs and devices used in surgical and cosmetic dermatology. Objective To develop a rules-based system for naming drugs and devices commonly used in dermatologic surgery that generates identifiers and modifiers that are clear, complete, and brief. Methods Using an iterative modified consensus process, five subject-area work groups of the ASDS Lexicon Task Force were charged with developing standard terminology for the drugs and devices subsumed under their topic. A subcommittee comprising the chairs of the workgroups initially developed the general rules that guided the consensus process; subsequently, this subcommittee merged the 5 resulting documents into a single work product. Two external reviewers with expertise in dermatologic drugs and devices reviewed the final document for errors and omissions. Results General characteristics sought in systematic names included: brevity, clarity, non-overlapping (mutually exclusive) nature, within-class similarity, preservation of current usage when possible, and potential for inclusion of future refinements. Conclusion Naming of drugs and devices in dermatologic surgery can be improved to increase comprehensibility and utility in both clinical and research contexts. Particularly for devices, the use of systematic names can reduce repeated mention of proprietary names in scientific discourse. Any naming system should be amenable to modification, correction, and the continual incorporation of novel agents.
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