>> Thursday, 10 November 2011
Unfortunately it’s also open to ‘misinformation’ as well, and while some is fascinating, perhaps even funny, when it relates to human health, erroneous information can result in unnecessary pain, anguish or even worse.
One of my pet hates is the overuse of the word “Cure”, particularly for a condition such as eczema. Everybody knows that it is simply not possible to “Cure” eczema but it is possible to help to control its symptoms. If we could cure eczema then every GP’s surgery would be significantly quieter and some companies supplying topical steroids and emollients would be out of business overnight.
Personally, my long experience of helping to manage this condition has caused me to steer clear from anything which relies on a couple of emailed statements plus a “Cure this” headline. It simply tugs at the heartstrings of desperate parents and encourages them to part with their savings in the hope that “New Improved Brand X” will stop their child from itching and return their dry flaky skin to the smooth soft version shown on the TV baby ads.
There are so many sites on the Internet that claim to offer natural cures for sometimes serious medical conditions, yet fail to offer any substantive support other than anecdotal evidence or testimonials from those alleged to be cured. For hundreds of years, country folk knew that chewing foxgloves helped those with heart irregularities, but it was only clinical trials that showed digoxin, the active agent, really did slow heart rhythm, but if you overdid it, it could also kill you.
Perhaps I am just a cynic, but surely if a treatment really does work, shouldn’t there be properly conducted clinical trials that show that patients experienced a quantitative or qualitative improvement in symptoms even if only compared to a placebo?
“Cure” is such an emotive word. While we wait for somebody to find a cure for eczema we must be content with keeping the symptoms and effects of the condition under control by the use of clinically proven, medically recommended products.