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Complementary Medicine Use for Skin Disorders Has Risen

Last Updated: December 13, 2010.

Complementary and alternative medicine use is high among people with skin disorders and has increased in this group, according to a report in the December issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

MONDAY, Dec. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) use is high among people with skin disorders and has increased in this group, according to a report in the December issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

Tracy Fuhrmann, of the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry in New York, and colleagues used the alternative health supplement from the 2007 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) to update the prevalence of CAM use among people with skin disorders. The survey included data from a total of 23,393 completed interviews, with 2,374 respondents reporting skin problems. The researchers compared these results to data from the 2002 NHIS alternative health supplement.

The 2007 survey revealed that 84.5 percent of people with skin problems reported using CAM, such as vitamins, minerals, and herbal products. This was an increase from the 2002 survey, in which 50 percent of subjects reporting skin problems also reported using CAM. Only about 1 percent, however, were using CAM specifically for skin-related problems. Respondents with skin problems were more likely to report CAM use than those without skin problems (adjusted odds ratio, 2.5).

"CAM use among people with skin disease is common and has increased since 2002. We should continue to have open discussions with our patients regarding their use of CAM, both to diagnose and prevent potential adverse reactions," the authors write.

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