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Differin Skin Rash

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#1 Zuma36

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Posted 04 December 2008 - 09:55 PM

I started taking Differin two weeks ago. I only apply to my face and bottom of my neck/chin.

Ever since I've been getting this rash on my body everytime my body gets hot or I sweat.
Sometimes my body just gets hot from me being anxious about something

The rash is on my chest/back and neck. Small hives form and it's very painful, itchy, and visibly red.

I've been on antihistamines for 3 days and it doesn't appear to be getting better.

Is it possible this rash is from the differin use?

#2 angel72

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Posted 23 December 2008 - 06:00 PM

I have been using differin 3% for months now, and I also have this strange rash when I get hot. Usually its after a bath, or anytime I get hot. I thought it was some kind of allergy. I have recently been wondering if it is related to the differin. It is really painful and itches, usually the rash I get is on my neck and chest.

#3 Wynne

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Posted 23 December 2008 - 06:12 PM

I'd contact your derm; you might have an allergy to the Differin, or it might be something else in your environment such as your laundry detergent or fabric softener or even your cleanser.

Take responsibility for your health; read the full prescribing information for any medication you take and understand that not all risks or potential side effects will likely ever be fully known.

=Regimen: Cetaphil Sensitive Skin Bar & Avon Anew Advanced Clinical Retexturizing Peel every day & Queen Helene Mint Julep mask weekly=
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Please ask questions on the boards, not via PM. That way all benefit. Thanks!


#4 DermPrincess

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Posted 01 January 2009 - 03:14 AM

I felt compelled to sign up and post when I saw this thread. I spent 6 months trying to figure out where I got this horrible strange sunburn like rash that seemed to only appear on my neck and part of my chest. I can't emphasize enough how miserable this has been leading me to spend a great deal of money trying every anti itch cream on the market. Racking my brains trying to figure out what could have triggered this strange rash that had never appeared before in my life ever. I googled till my head was spinning. I looked at every angle and yet both my Endocrinologist and my GP were left scratching their heads as nobody really had an answer. It felt systemic and looked systemic. It was not raised or bumpy or anywhere else on my body. It itched mercilessly and looked like a terrible sunburn. I just felt hot all the time and noticed that my neck and face felt hot (didn't really get the rash on my face where the Differin gel was applied, so that is what threw me). I finally made the connection one day and was horrified to realize that it was indeed the Differin Gel. I could not get it to even slow down or abate until I finally tested my theory and stopped using the gel. Suddenly and seemingly miraculously, the rash disappeared. I was also not using any new detergents, perfumes, jewelry and had not been eating any new foods or taking any new medications. My environment had also not changed at all. The only thing different in my life in that 6 month period, was using Differin Gel.

I began using it again to see if it was a coincidence and sure enough, the rash returned with a vengeance. I stopped using the product again and the rash disappeared. The whole thing threw me because I had never applied the gel to my neck and yet that is where I got this horrible reaction. To my horror I also noticed that Aloe Vera (which has always been nothing but soothing) suddenly burns when I apply it to my face or neck now (and especially during the time I was actively using the gel). I would wake up every few hours throughout the night ready to cry because it honestly got to me that much. I could not stop the itching! I took different types of antihistamines and cortisone creams and nothing touched it. I finally got some semblance of relief (if you can call it that) from Sarna's Ultra Anti Itch in the tube.

I contacted Galderma and have been in contact with a rep there. I wanted to report my reaction. They sent me forms to fill out (which I did fill out and mail back). The thing that infuriates me right now is that it appears that I have been left with a strange legacy after using this product on my face for 6 months. I can no longer use any of the other products I used to use that were actually weak and even gentle (they burn and actually begin to make my neck red again though not as bad as when the Differin was being actively used). This is definitely no coincidence. My face feels hot and so does my neck 80% of the time. I am also noticing here very recently that I have to be careful of anything I use on my skin now as it burns and seems like it wants to reactivate the rash (sigh). I am not talking Glycolic acids or anything harsh either (I am allergic to Benzoyl Peroxide so the only thing I have ever used in weak strengths for years without any problems was Salicylic Acid and never had problems). Now I can't even use the weakest form.

I must have gotten a lot of systemic absorption and am now suffering the toxic results of this. I am livid to be honest. The sad thing is that the product did a good job. I was loving the effects and was told it even helps to keep you looking young, but now I curse the day I ever heard of this product. I know there are people who have used it without any real problems, so God Bless them, but apparently this has not been everyone's experience. I found almost nothing online to link Differin to a neck rash so I went in circles and felt like I was going crazy (nothing in the literature either about a rash appearing in other places where the gel was not applied). I finally did find a board where a woman had a similar post to mine saying that she was getting a strange neck rash as well, but now for the life of me I can't seem to find it again. I just saw this and absolutely needed to post my story. You are not alone and it's not just a coincidence. I would contact Galderma and tell them what your experience has been.

I feel like I will never get my skin back again. I am very upset. I think it has done something systemically to me that doesn't seem to want to reverse (or at least not right away). It's been about 5 or 6 weeks since I have been off of the gel and yet I am still having problems and I know it's that darn gel. I looked back to the first time I filled my prescription which was in June of 2008 and sure enough that was when the rash began, only it was very slight and I just didn't make the connection. Thank you a million times over for this thread because at least I don't feel alone in this. I honestly don't think many will make the connection either. They will probably be running around like me for months not understanding that the rash on their chest and neck could be from this gel that they applied only to their faces. For some, the product is fine, but for people like me (for whatever reason) it's toxic and I only wish I could turn back the clock. sad.gif

Thanks for letting me vent.


#5 DifferinNeckRash

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Posted 15 February 2009 - 04:04 AM

Thanks for your post, DermPrincess. I've browsed these boards for a long time and have never created an account. This issue got me to create one...

I'm in the exact situation you are in. Exact. I had the rash appear on my neck. I wasn't sure what it was. I stopped taking Differin and the rash went away in about 2 weeks. After a while I tested the waters to see if the cause actually was Differin, and the rash came back and it's been a month and the rash hasn't gone away this time.

I told my dermatologist about the connection and he brushed off the thought that Differin was causing the rash. He gave me anti-fungal cream and it hasn't done anything. It was supposed to take care of the rash in 2 weeks but it's been a month. I went back to him after 2 weeks and he told me to keep applying it and come back in a month.

I'm at a loss at what to do, but it does give me a little peace of mind knowing that I'm not crazy in thinking that Differin caused the rash on my neck. My neck of all places. I hope over time our skin will go back to normal.

Thanks again and the best of luck to you,

-Robert

#6 DermPrincess

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Posted 17 February 2009 - 12:46 PM

Robert,

I am so sorry you are going through this and please know that you are not alone (neither am I). If you google Differin Skin rash, you will see there are more of us now. It seems that every few months when I google, I see more and more people with this problem coming out of the woodwork.

Things have gotten worse for me as I realize I have been left with a permanent legacy it seems. If I had the energy and money to sue, I would probably do so considering what's happened to me but I just don't have either. After leaving this initial message about what Differin did to me, I noticed that when I began to use any of my favorite products again that I used to use without incident, the rash begins to come back! My skin can no longer tolerate any of the things I used to be able to use without any problems! I can't use any topicals period, so I still have acne only now I can't use anything for it! If I even use weak Salicylic based stuff, I get the beginnings of a rash on my neck again (not as severe as when the Differin is applied, but my face is now hypersensitive). I had the same thing happen as you. As soon as I stopped the Differin, the severe rash on my neck went away (and I do mean severe). I thought it was over. I gave myself a rest for weeks without any make up or any products at all.

I merely put some make up on and my neck was a bit red that night when I got home! That has never happened in my life. I thought this is crazy....this can't be happening. I've always worn make up beautifully without any problems! I have now tried and returned several gentle topicals recently because now they all give me problems and all my old standbys can no longer be used! Coincidence? I think not! I am not a doctor but if I were to wager, my guess is that this stuff thinned my skin out so badly that it no longer has any protective barrier. That now it's in essence raw skin. Anything applied sinks in and causes this reaction to some degree though not as serious as when the Differin was used directly. I also think that for whatever reason, we may have absorbed the levels of Vitamin A at a higher rate and may be dealing with some level of toxicity. All I know is that bottom line my skin has not been the same since using Differin gel. If I could only go back in time, I would never go near this stuff. I have cried myself to sleep and I just have no answers.

I'm one of those types of women who loves to look glamorous and always wore beautiful foundations and powders and looked flawless because of it. Now any foundations or anything seems to cause a reaction and I never had this before ever! I know in the core of my soul what this is as a direct result of and why. I am furious and exhausted from it all. I don't know what the answer is, but all I have is what you have now. Hope that eventually our skin will regenerate to the point where it comes back like it used to. For me it's been over three months and still my skin is not back. sad.gif

Personally speaking, I think that Fungal cream is only going to make things worse because those are harsh and this is obviously not a fungus though I am no doctor of course. If I were you Robert, I would switch to another dermatologist and or even have your family doctor call in for some PRESCRIPTION strength Hydrocortisone cream. That will take a lot of the sting out as I learned recently with my doctor calling in some for me. Also Sarna Ultra that comes in the tube will help you a bit. It really does begin to take some of the sting out as well (not all local pharmacies carry the OTC type in the tube so you may need to order it, but its worth it as the lotion stinks to high heaven and dd not help as much. I should have known something was wrong when even Aloe Vera burned my skin! THAT HAS NEVER HAPPENED IN MY LIFE! If anything, Aloe Vera is soothing! This has been a nightmare.




#7 sprinter

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Posted 28 February 2009 - 02:09 PM

I got a rash from differin too. It also mad my neck really itchy.. I now use benzaclin, which I think is much better..

#8 DifferinNeckRash

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Posted 24 March 2009 - 06:20 AM

DermPrincess!

It's Robert again and I have good news! Like you suggested I eventually switched dermatologists. My previous dermatologist was adamant that the rash was a fungal rash, which he was wrong. I tried two different fungal creams and even tried oral medication.

I went to a new dermatologist where the service was MUCH better. They scrapped the rash to get a sample and found that it was a rash due to sensitive skin. She prescribed me Fluocinonide. It is also for rashes except it treats the rash for sensitive skin, according to her.

The results? After a few days I had already noticed a huge improvement. After a week my skin is pretty much back to normal. The place where the rash used to be is SLIGHTLY darker than the surrounding area, but I think I only notice because I'm a perfectionist and I really take a hard look.

I had the rash for a few months and it finally went away very quickly after applying Fluocinonide. I hope this helps. It's only been a little over a week and I stopped applying Differin a long time ago and don't plan on ever using it again.

I hope this reaches you and I do hope this helps you or at least gives you another avenue to explore. Good luck and I look forward to hearing back from you.

Also thank you for your replies. They definitely helped me along the way.

Best regards,

-Robert

#9 nippy

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Posted 17 July 2009 - 11:16 AM

QUOTE (DifferinNeckRash @ Mar 24 2009, 06:20 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
DermPrincess!

It's Robert again and I have good news! Like you suggested I eventually switched dermatologists. My previous dermatologist was adamant that the rash was a fungal rash, which he was wrong. I tried two different fungal creams and even tried oral medication.

I went to a new dermatologist where the service was MUCH better. They scrapped the rash to get a sample and found that it was a rash due to sensitive skin. She prescribed me Fluocinonide. It is also for rashes except it treats the rash for sensitive skin, according to her.

The results? After a few days I had already noticed a huge improvement. After a week my skin is pretty much back to normal. The place where the rash used to be is SLIGHTLY darker than the surrounding area, but I think I only notice because I'm a perfectionist and I really take a hard look.

I had the rash for a few months and it finally went away very quickly after applying Fluocinonide. I hope this helps. It's only been a little over a week and I stopped applying Differin a long time ago and don't plan on ever using it again.

I hope this reaches you and I do hope this helps you or at least gives you another avenue to explore. Good luck and I look forward to hearing back from you.

Also thank you for your replies. They definitely helped me along the way.

Best regards,

-Robert



--------------------

same thing happened to my son, itchy red rash. terrible red burning after sports
after using epiduo ( differin and bp) - a horrible outcome. Skin has not been the same since

concerned and crying mom


#10 stephenpaul6557

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Posted 20 July 2009 - 11:02 AM

Fluocinonide? I have never heard of this, but if it works I wouldn't mind trying it!

#11 Rhona30

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Posted 18 June 2010 - 08:09 AM

QUOTE (nippy @ Jul 17 2009, 06:16 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (DifferinNeckRash @ Mar 24 2009, 06:20 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>



--------------------

itchy red rash. terrible red burning after sports
after using epiduo ( differin and bp) - a horrible outcome. Skin has not been the same since




Shit, I have this burny face feeling after exercise. I thought it was just a side effect of the differin.

Also today I have a nasty neck rash.

Should I stop taking it?

#12 Rhona30

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Posted 05 July 2010 - 09:26 AM

QUOTE (DermPrincess @ Jan 1 2009, 10:14 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I felt compelled to sign up and post when I saw this thread. I spent 6 months trying to figure out where I got this horrible strange sunburn like rash that seemed to only appear on my neck and part of my chest. I can't emphasize enough how miserable this has been leading me to spend a great deal of money trying every anti itch cream on the market. Racking my brains trying to figure out what could have triggered this strange rash that had never appeared before in my life ever. I googled till my head was spinning. I looked at every angle and yet both my Endocrinologist and my GP were left scratching their heads as nobody really had an answer. It felt systemic and looked systemic. It was not raised or bumpy or anywhere else on my body. It itched mercilessly and looked like a terrible sunburn. I just felt hot all the time and noticed that my neck and face felt hot (didn't really get the rash on my face where the Differin gel was applied, so that is what threw me). I finally made the connection one day and was horrified to realize that it was indeed the Differin Gel. I could not get it to even slow down or abate until I finally tested my theory and stopped using the gel. Suddenly and seemingly miraculously, the rash disappeared. I was also not using any new detergents, perfumes, jewelry and had not been eating any new foods or taking any new medications. My environment had also not changed at all. The only thing different in my life in that 6 month period, was using Differin Gel.

I began using it again to see if it was a coincidence and sure enough, the rash returned with a vengeance. I stopped using the product again and the rash disappeared. The whole thing threw me because I had never applied the gel to my neck and yet that is where I got this horrible reaction. To my horror I also noticed that Aloe Vera (which has always been nothing but soothing) suddenly burns when I apply it to my face or neck now (and especially during the time I was actively using the gel). I would wake up every few hours throughout the night ready to cry because it honestly got to me that much. I could not stop the itching! I took different types of antihistamines and cortisone creams and nothing touched it. I finally got some semblance of relief (if you can call it that) from Sarna's Ultra Anti Itch in the tube.

I contacted Galderma and have been in contact with a rep there. I wanted to report my reaction. They sent me forms to fill out (which I did fill out and mail back). The thing that infuriates me right now is that it appears that I have been left with a strange legacy after using this product on my face for 6 months. I can no longer use any of the other products I used to use that were actually weak and even gentle (they burn and actually begin to make my neck red again though not as bad as when the Differin was being actively used). This is definitely no coincidence. My face feels hot and so does my neck 80% of the time. I am also noticing here very recently that I have to be careful of anything I use on my skin now as it burns and seems like it wants to reactivate the rash (sigh). I am not talking Glycolic acids or anything harsh either (I am allergic to Benzoyl Peroxide so the only thing I have ever used in weak strengths for years without any problems was Salicylic Acid and never had problems). Now I can't even use the weakest form.

I must have gotten a lot of systemic absorption and am now suffering the toxic results of this. I am livid to be honest. The sad thing is that the product did a good job. I was loving the effects and was told it even helps to keep you looking young, but now I curse the day I ever heard of this product. I know there are people who have used it without any real problems, so God Bless them, but apparently this has not been everyone's experience. I found almost nothing online to link Differin to a neck rash so I went in circles and felt like I was going crazy (nothing in the literature either about a rash appearing in other places where the gel was not applied). I finally did find a board where a woman had a similar post to mine saying that she was getting a strange neck rash as well, but now for the life of me I can't seem to find it again. I just saw this and absolutely needed to post my story. You are not alone and it's not just a coincidence. I would contact Galderma and tell them what your experience has been.

I feel like I will never get my skin back again. I am very upset. I think it has done something systemically to me that doesn't seem to want to reverse (or at least not right away). It's been about 5 or 6 weeks since I have been off of the gel and yet I am still having problems and I know it's that darn gel. I looked back to the first time I filled my prescription which was in June of 2008 and sure enough that was when the rash began, only it was very slight and I just didn't make the connection. Thank you a million times over for this thread because at least I don't feel alone in this. I honestly don't think many will make the connection either. They will probably be running around like me for months not understanding that the rash on their chest and neck could be from this gel that they applied only to their faces. For some, the product is fine, but for people like me (for whatever reason) it's toxic and I only wish I could turn back the clock. sad.gif

Thanks for letting me vent.


The EXACT same thing happened to me.

Differin was working great for a few weeks but they my neck reacted.

#13 Ryan:)

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Posted 05 July 2010 - 04:26 PM

I've been using Differin Cream for a week now and I've had the same problem. I apply it to my face and then shortly after my neck is all red and itchy, very itchy!!

#14 chomper

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Posted 12 November 2010 - 07:40 AM

yep derm prescribed epiduo to me.. which is differin + benzo... to replace my retin a / benzaclin... got a horrible rash on my neck and a little bit on my arm. Burning and itchy face. To make things even worse, it made my acne so much worse. This is three months in. I am calling it and returning to my beloved retin a.
Morning:

1. Wash face with Cerave face wash
2. Benzaclin
3. Paula's Choice sunscreen spray spf 15


Nightime:

1. Wash face with Cerave face wash
2. Retin A

#15 Joy Johnson

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 11:35 AM

Just wanted to add my experience:

I was prescribed Differin (lotion, 0.1% Adapalene) by my dermatologist on 1/31/11. I started it that very night - and saw results within 2 days. Differin is actually a pretty awesome medication.

Unfortunately, about 4 or 5 days into treatment I developed a rash on my neck. I immediately stopped using the Differin. I went to the ER right away because I knew that any reaction while using a new medication requires immediate attention. I was given Hydrocortisone Valerate Ointment USP 0.2% to use. As of today 2/22/12, I still have a rash on my neck and torso.

The rash on my neck seems to recede a bit and then come right back. I'm going to visit an allergist today and see my regular dermatologist at the end of the week. I'll probably update this after those two visits. I also called Galderma and they're sending me forms to fill out. (I wasn't promised a refund, though.) Wish I didn't get this rash - because like I said, Differin is awesome stuff.

I've added a picture of the rash, and here are some stats - just FYI:

33 y/o - African American Female - No prior known allergies to food or medication.

Attached Thumbnails

  • Differin rash.JPG


#16 Joy Johnson

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 11:30 AM

Reporting back -

My neck is back to normal. When I went to the allergist he prescribed Fluocinocide. He said that he's been seeing more and more that people are allergic to Hydrocortisone (which is what I'd been prescribed for the neck rash). I'm definitely allergic to Differin. I'm happy to report that two days after using the Fluocinocide, my neck went back to normal.

After my neck healed, I went back to my dermatologist and he prescribed Atralin (0.5%) and it's been working fabulously. I couldn't throw out that bottle of Differin fast enough. I will say again that Differin was magical while I was using it. It worked really well - unfortunately, while I consider myself a lioness, I'm really just a lil' puddy tat. I'm sensitive.

Posted Image

I really hope this helps someone else, because I was puzzled at first due to the fact that I was applying this lotion to my FACE, yet suffered a rash on my NECK AND TORSO. Good luck, all!

Edited by Joy Johnson, 30 March 2012 - 08:14 AM.


#17 Mass girl 37

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 06:54 PM

I have been using differing since the beginning of march 2012. Two weeks in I developed this weird red itchy warm to the touch rash on my neck and chest. I looked like I has a sun burn or somthing in that area. And when I touched it the texture of the skin was different than the rest of.my skin. I have a follow up with my Derm in two weeks. Will bring it up. I noticed very little impact on my ance.

#18 californiaEstie

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 07:51 PM

I have this same issue. I developed it about a year into treatment. It's off and on for me, and much more pronounced during cold weather season. I am taking a couple nights off a week and that seems to be helping, we shall see! I have become more sensitive as well due to this, but with the cutback my skin seems to be recovering.

#19 EFGB

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 09:43 PM

I am so glad to find these posts. I had a very small but persistent patch of acne on my jawline and wanted to clear it up for my wedding 2 1/2 years ago. I went to a Dermatologist for the first time in my life and was prescribed Differin. I broke out in a horrible, bright red rash on my chest and didn't connect the dots for a few days. When I stopped using the Differin, the rash went away but the skin on my chest has never been the same. It's been 2 1/2 years! My chest often feels clammy and sweaty like the pores can't breath, I have small red bumps, am very sensitive to fabrics and textures, have redness and a wrinkled look. It makes me so sad. It's not only ugly, but also uncomfortable and at at times painful. I don't know what to do. When I talked to my Dermatologist about it initially, she said there couldn't be a connection. I haven't been to a derm since because I was so disappointed (and somewhat traumatized!) b my experience. I am researching to see if there are any class action law suits against Differin - if there are, I'm in. But mostly, I want to know how to fix my skin. I'm afraid to put anything on it except very mild soap and very mild lotion.

#20 gcap

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Posted 23 July 2013 - 05:35 PM

I can't tell you what a relief it was to find this thread. About a week ago, I noticed a red blotch on my neck that looked like it could have been a bug bite, and was slightly itchy. I didn't think much of it, put some Allegra cream on the spot and was done with it. Then a few nights later, my neck felt extremely sweaty and clammy, and was itching more. I got up to put some lotion on it, and discovered that the red blotch had turned into a red rash across the entire front of my neck and beginning to creep down to my collarbone. I put more Allegra on it, but it stung badly and I had to wipe it off. Over the next couple of days, the itch got worse, and I finally decided to do three things: take an Allegra pill, put on some Cortizone-10 cream, and stop using my Differin medication. Sure enough, after less than two full days of doing that, the rash has almost completely faded.

 

This was a bit of a shock since I'd been on Differin for months with no issues, and at first, I didn't even register that the reaction could be due to the medication. I'm glad that I could confirm what caused it!

 

If anyone else out there is having this issue, stop using Differin immediately. I found that Cortizone-10 with aloe helped with the itching and didn't sting like other medicines, at least for me. I'm a little dismayed to hear that other people have been having permanent issues brought on by this reaction. I hope I caught it soon enough!




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