Atopic dermatitis (AD) is among the most common skin disorders in humans. Although a variety of regimens are available for the treatment of AD, preventive approaches are limited. Recent studies have demonstrated that certain naturally-occurring herbal medicines are effective in preventing the development of AD via divergent mechanisms, such as inhibiting cytokine and chemokine expression, IgE production, inflammatory cell infiltration, histamine release, and/or enhancement of epidermal permeability barrier function. Yet, they exhibit few adverse effects. Since herbal medicines are widely available, inexpensive and generally safe, they could represent an ideal approach for preventing the development of AD, in both highly developed and developing countries.
Keywords: T cells; cytokines; dermatitis; herbal medicines; permeability barrier.