Atopic eczema unresponsive to evening primrose oil (linoleic and gamma-linolenic acids)

J Am Acad Dermatol. 1985 Dec;13(6):959-65. doi: 10.1016/s0190-9622(85)70245-9.


This study was designed to look at the effect of evening primrose oil (linoleic and gamma-linolenic acids) as an oral supplement for patients with atopic eczema. We used a double-blind, blocked crossover design with random assignment of patients to treatment groups. We used Wilcoxon's signed-ranks method of comparing changes during the trial. We observed no significant effect on erythema, scale, excoriation, lichenification, or overall severity in 123 patients with atopic eczema of average severity while they took oral doses of evening primrose oil (2 or 4 gm in children, 6 or 8 gm in adults).

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Dermatitis, Atopic / drug therapy*
  • Dermatologic Agents / administration & dosage
  • Dermatologic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Fatty Acids, Essential*
  • Fatty Acids, Unsaturated / administration & dosage
  • Fatty Acids, Unsaturated / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Linoleic Acids
  • Middle Aged
  • Plant Oils
  • Random Allocation
  • gamma-Linolenic Acid


  • Dermatologic Agents
  • Fatty Acids, Essential
  • Fatty Acids, Unsaturated
  • Linoleic Acids
  • Plant Oils
  • evening primrose oil
  • gamma-Linolenic Acid