Atopic Dermatitis (AD) is a prolonged reverting skin ailment with characteristically distributed
skin lesions. In the previous decades, researchers had shown a marked interest in AD due to
its increased prevalence in developed countries. Although different strategies including biological
and immune modulators are available for the treatment of AD, each has certain limitations. The
researchers had shown considerable interest in the management of AD with herbal medicines. The
establishment of herbal drugs for AD might eliminate local as well as systemic adverse effects associated
with long term use of corticosteroids and also higher cost of therapy with biological drugs.
The present review discusses the traditional East Asian herbal medicines and scientific data related
to newer herbal extracts or compositions for the treatment of AD. In vivo animal models and in
vitro cell cultures, investigated with herbal medicines to establish a possible role in AD treatment,
have also been discussed in the paper. The paper also highlights the role of certain new approaches,
i.e. pharmacopuncture, a combination of allopathic and herbal medicines; and novel carriers
(liposomes, cubosomes) for herbal drugs on atopic skin. In conclusion, herbal medicines can be a
better and safe, complementary and alternative treatment option for AD.
Keywords: Atopic dermatitis, eczema, traditional herbal medicine, pharmacopuncture, liposomes, corticosteroids.
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