Traditional Chinese herbal medicine may help to relieve the dry, itchy, scaly skin of eczema in children and adults, two new studies suggest.
Other research shows that toddlers who have egg, elm, or cat allergies are at increased risk of developing eczema by age 4. Children whose parents have eczema are also at risk.
All three studies were presented this week at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.
Chinese Herbal Medicine Safe, Effective in Children
As many as 30% of patients with eczema have been prescribed traditional Chinese medicine, but there are still questions about whether it works and is safe, says researcher Julia Wisniewski, MD, of Mount Sinai Hospital in New York.
There is clearly a need for alternative treatments for the skin condition, she says, because many patients with severe allergies continue to have flare-ups a decade after standard therapy with steroids and immune-suppressing agents.