Atopic eczema is a chronic, recurrent, multifactorial skin disease, and, accordingly, there are numerous therapeutic options for its symptomatic treatment. Conventional medications are however often unsatisfactory for many patients because of adverse effects on long-term use. For this reason, patients often readily welcome unconventional therapeutic approaches. We present here a selected number of such treatment modalities, namely γ-linolenic acid, Chinese herbal tea, diets eliminating allergens, pseudoallergens, metal salts and sodium, and bioresonance. When stringent scientific criteria are applied in the evaluation of such study results, none of the reviewed alternative treatments provides unequivocal, convincing evidence of its efficacy, even when double-blind, placebo-controlled studies are available. With Chinese herbal tea, potentially serious adverse effects should be considered as well. Any new type of unconventional therapy should thus be thoroughly evaluated and shown to be equal or superior to conventional treatments with regard to both efficacy and tolerability before it is recommended for use in clinical practice.

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