Cardiospermum halicacabum in atopic dermatitis: Clinical evidence based on phytotherapic approach

Dermatol Ther. 2020 Nov;33(6):e14519. doi: 10.1111/dth.14519. Epub 2020 Nov 22.


Atopic dermatitis is a chronic inflammatory disease that mainly affects children, causing a strong impact on the quality of life. The most affected subjects live in urban areas or in developed countries, with prevalence increased up to 15%-20% in children and from 1% to 3% in adults during the past 30 years. Most adults had the first signs of illness before the age of 5, many of them before the age of 1. Many therapies in use are associated with side effects and often induce intolerance; therefore, many studies are based on the search for topical products that have an effective benefit, are well tolerated and appreciated by patients. Natural products are expected to have promising prospects in the management of atopy. Cardiospermum halicacabum is a member of the Sapindaceae family that seems to express its cortisone-like anti-inflammatory activity by activating phospholipase A2 while maintaining the stability of cell membranes, an effect due to the presence of phytosterols, having an affinity for lipids in the epidermis and cell membranes. We report our experience during a 15 days observational clinical study aimed to demonstrate efficacy and safety of the treatment with HALICAR: a cream containing C. halicacabum. Clinical data indicates that the treatment with HALICAR leads to positive effects in subjects with dermatitis of various degrees, regardless of which concomitant treatment is considered.

Keywords: Cardiospermum halicacabum; contact dermatitis; cortisone-like activity; eczema.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / adverse effects
  • Child
  • Dermatitis, Atopic* / diagnosis
  • Dermatitis, Atopic* / drug therapy
  • Eczema*
  • Humans
  • Quality of Life
  • Sapindaceae*


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents