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Aims: To assess the prevalence of herbal use and factors that predispose (predictors). dermatology patients to the use of herbal preparations and medications at the Dermatology clinic of University of Port-Harcourt Teaching Hospital (UPTH), Port-Harcourt, Nigeria.
Study Design: A descriptive cross sectional design was used.
Place and Duration of Study: The Dermatology clinic in UPTH over a four-month period. (September 2020- December 2020).
Methodology: Data was collected using an interviewer administered questionnaire designed by the study researchers. It consisted of demographic characteristics, dermatologic history and participant’s awareness, use, duration of use, outcome, side-effects and cost of remedy to herbal medications as well as overall satisfaction.
Results: One hundred and seventy patients were recruited for the study over the four-month period. The age range was 1 to 75 years with mean age of 30.8years ±14.9 with a male to female ratio of 1:1.7. There were females 63.5%, with participants being mostly in their third decade 28.2%, single 65.3% with tertiary level of education 64.1%. Most dermatologic lesions started as rashes 50.6%, itching 48.8% with the hands (48.2%) and the legs (47.6%) being the most affected parts of the body. 85% of participants were aware of herbal use and 37.6% had used them to treat dermatological lesions. Some herbs used include “gbogbonise”, ginger, garlic, paw-paw leaf, lemon, lime moringa and turmeric. Predictors for herbal use were lesions on the face and duration of skin lesions for (1-5 years).
Conclusion: There is a high prevalence of herbal use for dermatologic conditions in this locality with a female preponderance. Healing of dermatological lesions with the herbs was not recorded. Duration of skin lesion and lesion location on the face were identified predictors of herbal use for dermatologic conditions in this locality. This study is important because it shows that people are interested in herbal treatments and8 are looking for suitable alternatives to medicinal oral and topical therapies.
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