Oolong Tea and Atopic Dermatitis

Abstract

Source

Department of Dermatology, Shiga University of Medical Science, Tsukinowa-cho, Seta, Otsu 520-2193, Japan.

Background

Mild cases of atopic dermatitis (AD) generally improve with standard treatment. However, standard treatment fails many patients with recalcitrant AD skin lesions. Study results in animal models have demonstrated that the administration of tea (ie, green, black, or oolong) has suppressed type I and type IV allergic reactions.

Objective

To test the effectiveness of oolong tea in the treatment of recalcitrant AD.

Patients

Although 121 patients with recalcitrant AD were enrolled in the study, 118 patients completed the open study.

Methods

Patients were asked to maintain their dermatological treatment. However, they were also instructed to drink oolong tea made from a 10-g teabag placed in 1000 mL of boiling water and steeped for 5 minutes. This amount was then divided into 3 equal servings and 1 serving was drunk daily after 3 regular meals. Photographs of 2 or 3 representative lesion sites were taken at baseline and at 1 and 6 months and the severity of pruritus was assessed on a 6-point Lickert-like scale ranging from markedly improved (>50% improvement) to worsened.

Results

After 1 month of treatment 74 (63%) of the 118 patients showed marked to moderate improvement of their condition. The beneficial effect was first noticed after 1 or 2 weeks of treatment. A good response to treatment was still observed in 64 patients (54%) at 6 months.

Conclusion

The therapeutic efficacy of oolong tea in recalcitrant AD may well be the result of the antiallergic properties of tea polyphenols.

Article

www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov