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J Int Med Res. 1999 May-Jun;27(3):143-7.

Efficacy of Shiunko for the treatment of atopic dermatitis.

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  • 1Department of Dermatology, Faculty of Medicine, Toyama Medical and Pharmaceutical University, Japan.


Shiunko is a typical Kampo drug made from herbal extracts and used to treat a range of conditions including atopic dermatitis. Shiunko, white petrolatum and 3.5% salt water were applied to the skin of atopic dermatitis patients, and their clinical effectiveness, and the changes in bacterial species and cell numbers on the skin were studied. Staphylococcus aureus was the main species seen but several other coagulase-negative staphylococci were also identified on some patients. Shiunko was clinically effective in four of seven patients (57%) compared with no patients for petrolatum and one of seven (14%) for salt water. Bacterial counts were reduced with Shiunko in four of seven patients compared with one of seven patients (14%) for both petrolatum and salt water. The results suggest that Shiunko may have antibacterial effects on staphylococci, and may be an effective treatment for atopic dermatitis and other skin infections caused mainly by Staphylococcus species.

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