Exploration of "Alternative" and "Natural" Drugs in Dermatology | Dermatology | JAMA Dermatology | JAMA Network
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February 2002

Exploration of "Alternative" and "Natural" Drugs in Dermatology

Author Affiliations

From the University of California–San Francisco Medical Center.

Arch Dermatol. 2002;138(2):207-211. doi:10.1001/archderm.138.2.207

Objective  To review some of the promising natural remedies within dermatology to explore their potential clinical benefit in supplementing conventional drugs.

Data Sources  MEDLINE searches from January 1966 through October 2000 and Science Citation Index searches from January 1974 through October 2000 were conducted.

Study Selection  Primary importance was given to in vivo and in vitro controlled studies, the results of which encourage further exploration.

Data Extraction  The controls used, the statistical approach to analysis, and the validity of the experimental method analyzed were considered particularly important. Data were independently extracted by multiple observers.

Data Synthesis  Natural remedies seem promising in treating a wide variety of dermatologic disorders, including inflammation, phototoxicity, psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, alopecia areata, and poison oak.

Conclusions  The alternative medications presented seem promising, although their true effects are unknown. Many of the presented studies do not allow deduction of clinical effects. Further experimentation must be performed to assess clinical benefit.