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Open Access Highly Accessed Review

Chinese herbal medicine research in eczema treatment

Kam Lun Hon1*, Ben Chung-Lap Chan2 and Ping Chung Leung2

Author Affiliations

1 Departments of Paediatrics, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Prince of Wales Hospital, Shatin, Hong Kong SAR, China

2 Institute of Chinese Medicine, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Prince of Wales Hospital, Shatin, Hong Kong SAR, China

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Chinese Medicine 2011, 6:17  doi:10.1186/1749-8546-6-17

Published: 28 April 2011

Abstract

Eczema is a chronic relapsing atopic dermatitis (AD) associated with pruritus, sleep disturbance and poor quality of life of the patient. Treatment of eczema includes use of emollient, topical and systemic antimicrobial agents, corticosteroid or immunomodulating agents. Many patients also seek alternative treatments such as dietary avoidance, supplementation or both. This article reviews the basic pathophysiology of eczema and clinical trials involving Chinese medicine in the treatment of eczema. Research reports on Chinese herbal medicine for eczema were retrieved from PubMed and the Cochrane Database for Systematic Reviews for this review. Only a few RCTs demonstrated the efficacy (or lack of efficacy) of Chinese medicinal herbs in treating atopic eczema. Further larger scale trials are warranted.