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Int J Dermatol. 2014 May;53(5):593-600. doi: 10.1111/ijd.12388. Epub 2014 Apr 2.

A seminar on gardens for the health of the skin.

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Oxford University, Oxford, UK.


This is a report on a seminar held on January 12, 2013, at the Regional Dermatology Training Centre in Tanzania, sponsored by the International Society of Dermatology as part of its Taskforce Program for Skin Care for All: Community Dermatology. There were four themes: (i) Gardens attached to health centers increase their attractiveness and result in increased attendance and, thus, increase the utilization of effective skin care interventions. Literature on the positive effect of greenery surrounding health centers on health and the environment is reviewed. (ii) Adding an expert on agriculture to the staff of health centers in Rwanda has provided nutrition and safe medicines. (iii) In southern India, these interventions are channeled through the empowerment of tribal women in an area noted for anxiety due to unemployment in the tea and forestry industry. The gardens are used for teaching about nutrition and herbal medicines, and the women are further attracted by childcare facilities. (iv) Measuring barrier function defects gives early warning of malnutrition of the skin after damage by trauma or by ultraviolet radiation. Higher cost research techniques may help to provide the science required to produce its evidence base. In conclusion, Gardens for health should be adopted as policy by skin care providers.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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