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Tea Time

Atopic dermatitis (AD) is an allergic skin disorder caused by allergens in certain foods or in the environment. Mild cases of this condition generally improve with standard treatment. However, standard treatments fail many patients with more stubborn skin legions. Prior studies in animal models have demonstrated that tea (green, black or oolong) can suppress certain allergens and help in the treatment of allergic skin reactions.

Several studies have tested the effectiveness of oolong tea in the treatment of such stubborn legions.

In one of the most recent investigations, published in the Archives of Dermatology, 118 patients suffering from various forms of AD were asked to maintain their standard dermatological treatment, but were also instructed to drink oolong tea daily after each of three regular meals.

After one month of treatment, 63% of the patients showed moderate improvement of their condition. The most beneficial effect was noticed after the initial week of treatment. However, a “good” response to treatment was still observed in more than 50% of the patients after a six-month period. These findings led the study authors to conclude that treatment of allergic skin conditions may be aided by the anti-allergic properties of the compounds in teas.

Reference: Uehara M, Sugiura H, Sakurai K. A trial of oolong tea in the management of recalcitrant atopic dermatitis. Archives of Dermatology 2001: Vol.137, pp 42-43.

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