Alternative treatments for atopic dermatitis: a selected review.
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Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a chronic itchy, inflammatory skin disease that is extremely difficult to treat. Effective therapeutic agents are limited in number, and may have long-term toxic side-effects. Frustrated by these realities, many patients stop seeking help from conventional physicians and turn to alternative medical approaches. These can include so-called natural products, herbal products and over-the-counter (OTC) treatments. Herbs and medications share a common history, as most of our well-known medications were derived from plants. However, herbal remedies are largely unregulated. Many may have scientific merit and clinical benefit, but they are still scientifically invalid and inadequately monitored. Dermatologists need information about the effects of herbal remedies in order to better serve their patients.
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