Atopic Dermatitis (Eczema)

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Atopic Dermatitis

 

Atopic dermatitis (also known as eczema) is a chronic, irritating inflammation of the skin that tends to develop in individuals with pre-existing allergic disorders, including asthma, hay fever and food allergies. The skin condition is not, however, triggered by contact with any particular allergen.

Atopic dermatitis is a very common skin disease. It usually develops in infancy, and will resolve in half of patients by adolescence.

It has been found that certain factors can increase the intensity of atopic dermatitis. These include emotional stress, temperature and humidity fluctuations, itchy clothing and bacterial infections of the skin.

 

 

Efficacy of Alternative and Other Treatments According to GRADE* Ranking:

Vitamin B Complex [1, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50]:

Please note, this management does NOT treat the condition itself. It may mildly help in preventing some of the symptoms, and even then has insufficient evidence to back up this claim at present. Please note, this acts as a PREVENTATIVE treatment, and not necessarily symptomatic relief. Supplements should only be taken if they contain no more than 100% of the recommended daily value

Recommendation: Strongly in favor (Vitamin B may help in preventing alopecia due to its role in the maintenance skin health)

Grade of Evidence: High quality of evidence

Thuja (Eastern White Cedar, Thuja Occidentalis) [1, 38, 39, 40]:

Please note, this management does NOT treat the condition itself. It may mildly help with some of the symptoms, and even then has insufficient evidence to back up this claim at present. Little is known about the full effects of Thuja, so it is not recommended for medicinal use. Thuja can be poisonous if ingested in large amounts.

Recommendation: No recommendation (There is insufficient evidence to support claims that Thuja helps to treat eczema)

Grade of Evidence: Very low quality of evidence

Tea Tree Oil [1, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37]:

Please note, this management does NOT treat the condition itself. It is proposed only as a weak supportive symptomatic support, and even then, has insufficient evidence to back up this claim at present. WARNING: Tea Tree Oil is not recommended for children, pregnant women or mothers that are breastfeeding.

Recommendation: No recommendation (There is insufficient evidence to support claims that tea tree oil is effective in treating eczema)

Grade of Evidence: Low quality of evidence

Pau D'Arco (Lapachol, Tabebuia Impetiginosa, Tabebuia Heptaphylla) [1, 27]:

Please note, this treatment has potentially serious side effects. Some of the chemicals in the plant are known to be toxic. High doses are known to cause liver and kidney. Even at low doses, chemicals in the plant may interfere with blood clotting, causing excess bleeding and anaemia. Pau D'Arco should be avoided, especially by pregnant or breastfeeding women.

Recommendation: Strongly against (There is insufficient evidence to support claims that Pau D'arco helps to treat eczema. This, combined with its potentially harmful side effects if taken without supervision from a doctor or pharmacist gives enough reason to avoid this treatment.)

Grade of Evidence: Very low quality of evidence

Licorice (Glcyrhiz Gaba) [1, 23, 24, 25, 26]:

Please note, this management does NOT treat the condition itself. It may mildly help with some of the symptoms, and even then has insufficient evidence to back up this claim at present. Licorice has been shown to have potentially harmful side effects in people with high blood pressure, liver or kidney diseases)

Recommendation: No recommendation (There is insufficient evidence to support claims that licorice helps in the treatment of Eczema. More research is needed)

Grade of Evidence: Low quality of evidence

Gotu Kola (Centella Asiatica, Hydrocotyle Asiatica) [1, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22]:

Please note, this management does NOT treat the condition itself. It may mildly help with some of the symptoms, and even then has insufficient evidence to back up this claim at present.

Recommendation: No recommendation (There is insufficient evidence to support claims that Gotu Kola helps in the treatment of eczema in any way. More research is needed.)

Grade of Evidence: Low quality of evidence

Goldenseal (Hydrastis Canadensis) [1, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16]:

Please note, this management does NOT treat the condition itself. It may mildly help with some of the symptoms, and even then has insufficient evidence to back up this claim at present.

Recommendation: Weakly against (There is insufficient evidence to support claims that Goldenseal helps to treat eczema. More studies are needed. Goldenseal may produce toxic effects, including depression, constipation, rapid heartbeat, stomach pain, mouth ulcers and vomiting.)

Grade of Evidence: Low quality of evidence

Flaxseed Oil  [1, 7, 8, 9]:

Please note, this management does NOT treat the condition itself. It may mildly help with some of the symptoms, and even then has insufficient evidence to back up this claim at present.

Recommendation: No recommendation  (There is insufficient evidence to support claims that flaxseed oil helps to treat eczema)

Grade of Evidence: Low quality of evidence

Evening Primrose Oil  [1, 4, 5, 6]:

Please note, this management does NOT treat the condition itself. It may mildly help with some of the symptoms, and even then has insufficient evidence to back up this claim at present.

Recommendation: No recommendation  (Available evidence does not support claims that primrose oil can help with dermatitis. Studies have shown conflicting results)

Grade of Evidence: Low quality of evidence

Chamomile (Matricaria Chamomilla) [1, 2, 3]:

Please note, this management does NOT treat the condition itself. It is proposed only as a weak supportive symptomatic support, and even then, has insufficient evidence to back up this claim at present.

Recommendation: Weakly against (Available evidence does not support claims that Chamomile helps treat eczema. In addition, allergic reactions and side effects like cramps, itching, rashes and difficulty breathing can be relatively common)

Grade of Evidence: Low quality of evidence

Cats Claw (Uncaria Tomentosa) [1]:

Please note, this management does NOT treat the condition itself. It is proposed only as a weak supportive symptomatic support, and even then, has insufficient evidence to back up this claim at present.

Recommendation: No recomendation (insufficient evidence to support claims that Cats Claw can help to treat eczema)

Grade of Evidence: Very low quality of evidence

Black Walnut (Juglans Nigra):

Please note, this management does NOT treat the condition itself. It is proposed only as a weak supportive symptomatic support, and even then, has insufficient evidence to back up this claim at present.

Recommendation: Weakly against (Available evidence does not support claims that Black Walnut helps to treat Atopic Dermatitis (Eczema))

Grade of Evidence: Low quality of evidence

Arnica Root (Arnica Montana):

Please note, this management does NOT treat the condition itself. It may mildly help with some of the symptoms, and even then has insufficient evidence to back up this claim at present.

Recommendation: Weakly against (available evidence shows that Arnica is in no way helpful in the treatment of eczema)

Grade of Evidence: Moderate quality of evidence

Ultraviolet Light Therapy:

Recommendation: Weakly in favor (early studies suggest that UV light therapy may be helpful in treating Atopic Dermatitis)

Grade of Evidence: Low quality of evidence

Mugwort (Artemisa Vulgaris):

Recommendation: No recommendation (There is insufficient evidence to support claims that mugwort may be able to help treat eczema. More studies are needed)

Grade of Evidence: Very low quality of evidence

 * www.gradeworkinggroup.org

 

Summary References

Treatments:

1. Ades T, Alteri R, Gansler T, Yeargin P, "Complete Guide to Complimentary & Alternative Cancer Therapies", American Cancer Society, Atlanta USA, 2009

2. http://www.abchomeopathy.com/r.php/Cham

3. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-chamomile.html

4.  http://www.cancer.org/Treatment/TreatmentsandSideEffects/ComplementaryandAlternativeMedicine/HerbsVitaminsandMinerals/evening-primrose

5. http://nccam.nih.gov/health/eveningprimrose/

6. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/4395826.stm

7. http://www.cancer.org/Treatment/TreatmentsandSideEffects/ComplementaryandAlternativeMedicine/HerbsVitaminsandMinerals/flaxseed

8. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-flaxseed.html

9. http://nccam.nih.gov/health/flaxseed/index.htm

10. http://www.cancer.org/Treatment/TreatmentsandSideEffects/ComplementaryandAlternativeMedicine/HerbsVitaminsandMinerals/goldenseal

11. http://nccam.nih.gov/health/goldenseal/

12. Tierra Michael (1998): The Way of Herbs. New York, Pocket Books

13. Grieve M. (1971): A Modern Herbal. New York, Dover Publications, Inc

14. Mills S. and Bone K. (2000): Principles and Practice of Phytotherapy. Philadelphia, Churchill Livingstone

15. Tice Raymond (1997): Goldenseal and Two of its constituent alkaloids: berberine and hydrastine Research Triangle Park, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, in Seiger E: Review of Toxilogical Literature

16. http://www.henriettesherbal.com/eclectic/ellingwood/hydrastis.html

17. Winston, D., Maimes, S., Adaptogens: Herbs For Strength, Stamina, and Stress Relief, 2007, pp. 226-7

18. "A Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study on the Effects of Gotu Kola (Centella asiatica) on Acoustic Startle Response in Healthy Subjects". Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology. 20(6):680-684, December 2000. Bradwejn, Jacques MD, FRCPC *; Zhou, Yueping MD, PhD ++; Koszycki, Diana PhD *; Shlik, Jakov MD, PhD

19.  B. M. Hausen (1993) "Centella asiatica (Indian pennywort), an effective therapeutic but a weak sensitizer." Contact Dermatitis 29 (4), 175–179 doi:10.1111/j.1600-0536.1993.tb03532.x

20. Cataldo, A., Gasbarro, V., et al., "Effectiveness of the Combination of Alpha Tocopherol, Rutin, Melilotus, and Centella asiatica in The Treatment of Patients With Chronic Venous Insufficiency", Minerva Cardioangiology, 2001, Apr; 49(2):159-63

21. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gotu_kola#Medicinal_effects

22. http://www.cancer.org/Treatment/TreatmentsandSideEffects/ComplementaryandAlternativeMedicine/HerbsVitaminsandMinerals/gotu-kola

23. Winston, David; Steven Maimes (2007). Adaptogens: Herbs for Strength, Stamina, and Stress Relief. Healing Arts Press.

24. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15190039

25. http://nccam.nih.gov/health/licoriceroot/

26. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-licorice.html

27. http://www.cancer.org/Treatment/TreatmentsandSideEffects/ComplementaryandAlternativeMedicine/HerbsVitaminsandMinerals/pau-d-arco   

28. http://www.cancer.org/Treatment/TreatmentsandSideEffects/ComplementaryandAlternativeMedicine/HerbsVitaminsandMinerals/tea-tree-oil

29. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-teatreeoil.html

30. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18816275

31. http://bastyrcenter.org/content/view/972/&page=

32. http://jac.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/full/62/4/769?maxtoshow=&HITS=10&hits=10&RESULTFORMAT=&fulltext=staphaseptic&searchid=1&FIRSTINDEX=0&resourcetype=HWCIT

33. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2145499

34. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9055360

35. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12451368

36. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9848442

37. Bishop, C.D. (1995). "Anti-viral Activity of the Essential Oil of Melaleuca alternifolia". Journal of Essential Oil Research: 641–644

38. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002769.htm

39. http://plants.usda.gov/plantguide/pdf/cs_thoc2.pdf

40. http://vsearch.nlm.nih.gov/vivisimo/cgi-bin/query-meta?v%3Aproject=medlineplus&query=thuja&x=0&y=0

41. http://www.cancer.org/Treatment/TreatmentsandSideEffects/ComplementaryandAlternativeMedicine/HerbsVitaminsandMinerals/vitamin-b-complex

42. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-folate.html

43. Butterworth RF. Thiamin. In: Shils ME, Shike M, Ross AC, Caballero B, Cousins RJ, editors. Modern Nutrition in Health and Disease, 10th ed. Baltimore: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2006.

44. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18220605

45. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/6935482.stm

46. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19061687

47. Gropper, S. S, Smith, J. L., Groff, J. L. (2009). Advanced nutrition and human metabolism. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, Cengage learning.

48. Otten, J. J., Hellwig, J. P., Meyers, L. D. (2008). Dietary reference intakes: The essential guide to nutrient requirements. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press

49. http://recipes.howstuffworks.com/vitamin-b1.htm

50. Higdon, Jane (2003). "Biotin". An evidence-based approach to vitamins and minerals. Thieme. ISBN 9781588901248.


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