Complementary and alternative medicine use in dermatology in the United States

Landis ET, Davis SA, Feldman SR, Taylor S. Complementary and Alternative Medicine use in Dermatology in the United States. J Alt Comp Med. 2014;20(5): 392-398.

BAKGROUND: Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) has an increasing presence in dermatology. Complementary therapies have been studied in many skin diseases, including atopic dermatitis and psoriasis.

OBJECTIVES:

This study sought to assess oral CAM use in dermatology relative to medicine as a whole in the United States, using the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey.

DESIGN:

Variables studied include patient demographic characteristics, diagnoses, and CAM documented at the visits. A brief literature review of the top 5 CAM treatments unique todermatology visits was performed.

RESULTS:

Most CAM users in both dermatology and medicine as a whole were female and white and were insured with private insurance or Medicare. Fish oil, glucosamine, glucosamine chondroitin, and omega-3 were the most common complementary supplements used in both samples.

CONCLUSIONS:

CAM use in dermatology appears to be part of a larger trend in medicine. Knowledge of common complementary therapies can help dermatologists navigate this expanding field.