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Allergol Select. 2017 Aug 4;1(1):44-52. doi: 10.5414/ALX01287E. eCollection 2017.

Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) and atopic eczema.

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Ratekau, Germany.


. There is a substantial and growing interest in complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) in the general population. This paper aims to answer in how far patients with atopic eczema use CAM and which techniques. Furthermore the evidence basis on the efficacy of CAM in the use for atopic eczema should be reviewed. For that purpose randomized controlled trials (RCT) were searched systematically. In Germany about 46% of the general population and up to 51% of inpatients with eczema use CAM. Acupuncture, homeopathy, diets and supplements comprise the most popular techniques. Better educated, middle-aged women use CAM more frequently. In general the evidence basis concerning studies on the efficacy (and safety) of CAM for atopic eczema with appropriate size and quality is limited. Most studies were found on essential fatty acids and Chinese herbs, whereby the results remain conflicting. There was not enough evidence to assess the efficacy of acupuncture, homeopathy and salt baths. A single study on bioresonance did not show superiority compared to a sham procedure. Single studies indicated beneficial effects for topical hypericum, autologous blood injection, massage therapy, Vitamin E and D, and topical Viatmin B12. These results must be confirmed by future studies. CAM are frequently used in atopic eczema, the evidence basis for that, however, is limited.


atopic eczema; complementary alternative medicine ; evidence-based medicine

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