Arleta Dołowacka-Jóźwiak, Bożena Karolewicz, Monika Gasztych, Dorota Haznar-Garbacz

Selected aspects of phytotherapy in infectious skin diseases

Infectious diseases of the skin (e.g., impetigo contagiosum, boil, actinomycosis, erysipelas, pityriasis erythematosus) are a major health, psychological, and social problem. Increasing patient expectations regarding the efficacy of skin disease treatment have led to the search for new treatment methods. More and more, modern medicine is returning to medicines of natural origin. According to Article 1 of the EEC (European Economic Community) Council Directive 65/6, herbal preparations are treated as medicinal products whose ingredients are exclusively plant materials or extracts thereof. The biologically active constituents of medicinal plants and herbs are characterized by their high efficacy against many diseases. Modern research shows that many raw materials, extracts, and preparations of natural origin can be used in the treatment of skin diseases of various aetiologies. Phytochemical data suggest that substances of plant origin may have a better therapeutic effect than conventional therapeutic agents and may also be safer for the human body. Plant-derived substances exhibit a wide range of pharmacological activities such as antifungal, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and many others. Their main advantage is the lower incidence of side effects and the relatively low cost of treatment. In addition, natural substances are less likely to cause skin irritation and there is no risk of bacterial resistance, which is often the case with antibiotic therapies. As a result, many medicinal plants valued in folk medicine have been used in the treatment of dermatological conditions. Their efficacy is still being verified pharmacologically and with modern phytochemical tests. Research into new medicinal compounds of plant origin is of great importance as their application holds great promise for modern medicine, pharmacy, and cosmetology. This article provides an overview of natural products and plant extracts with antimicrobial properties. New discoveries can be expected in the future from herbs from the Far East and other geographical areas.

Keywords: bacterial and fungal skin diseases, antimicrobial properties, natural compounds, phytotherapy, pharmacotherapy.

© Farm Pol, 2024, 80(2): 133–143


Selected aspects of phytotherapy in infectious skin diseases

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