CAM use in dermatology. Is there a potential role for honey, green tea, and vitamin C?
Author: Naiara S. Barbosa and Amer N. Kalaaji
Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is a group of non-traditional medical practices that includes natural products, manipulations, and mind and body medicine. CAM use has grown and become popular among patients. In dermatology, honey, green tea, and vitamin C have been used as topical treatments for a variety of diseases. We performed a systematic review to explore the cutaneous effects of each of these three products. Honey's unique antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties were shown to contribute to wound healing, especially in ulcers and burns. Green tea, among many health benefits, demonstrated protection from ultraviolet-induced events, such as photoimmunosuppression and skin cancer growth. Vitamin C, known for its antioxidant properties and key role in collagen production, has been shown to produce positive effects on skin hyperpigmentation and aging. Future large well-designed clinical trials are needed in order to further investigate the potential of these agents as dermatological therapies.