Topical Dwarf Elderberry Leaf Extract Appears To Be As Effective Topical Hydrocortisone In Improving Hand Eczema

OBJECTIVES: Corticosteroids as the main treatment of hand eczema can cause major side effects. This study compared the effect of topical preparation of Sambucus ebulus L. leaves and hydrocortisone on the severity of hand eczema.

DESIGN: Ninety-four patients with hand eczema aging 18–60 years were recruited in two groups (S. ebulus vs. hydrocortisone).

INTERVENTIONS: The patients used topical medications twice a day and were followed for 4 weeks. The observations were made at the first visit, and also second and fourth weeks of the study.

OUTCOME MEASURES: The primary outcomes were changes in the severity of hand eczema (hand eczema severity index [HECSI]) and life quality (dermatology life quality index [DLQI]). Secondary outcomes were the rate of healing and the severity of itching.

RESULTS: Thirty-eight patients in hydrocortisone and 43 in S. ebulus fulfilled all phases of the follow-up. In both groups, the HECSI, itching scores decreased over time without any significant difference between the groups (p = 0.49, 0.57, respectively). The DLQI scores were significantly better in the S. ebulus group (p = 0.02) after 4 weeks of medication. There was no significant difference between the healing rates of the two groups (p = 0.33).

CONCLUSIONS: Topical use of S. ebulus can be as effective as that of hydrocortisone when it comes to reducing the severity of hand eczema.

Farahani AM., et al. A Comparison of the Effect of Topical Preparation of Sambucus ebulus L. and Hydrocortisone on Hand Eczema: A Double-Blind Randomized Controlled Trial. J Altern Complement Med. 2021 Apr;27(4):323-330. doi: 10.1089/acm.2020.0343. Epub 2021 Feb 10.