The Skin Care Campaign have produced the following advice for anyone considering alternative/complementary treatments. It is written for all skin conditions and is a good check list for anyone with alopecia considering an alternative treatment.
So called ‘natural’ or herbal treatments, which work or purport to work effectively, very quickly should be viewed with immediate suspicion. Proven skin treatments tend to take some time to have an effect.
No exclusion or special diets should be undertaken, particularly in the case of children, without first consulting an independent GP or Dietician.
1. Questions to ask of complementary or non-orthodox treatments or practitioners:
What is his/her qualifications and how long was the training?
Is s/he a member of a recognised, registered body with a code of practice?
Can you obtain the address and telephone number of this body so that you can check?
Is the therapy available on the NHS?
Can your GP delegate care to this practitioner?
Does s/he keep your GP informed in the same way that a hospital consultant would?
Is this the most suitable complementary medicine for your condition?
Are the records confidential?
What is the cost of the treatment?
How many treatments will be needed?
2. Then ask yourself:
Did the practitioner answer your questions clearly and to your satisfaction?
Did the practitioner give you information to look through at your leisure?
Did the practitioner conduct him/herself in a professional manner?
Did the practitioner make excessive claims about the treatment? (NB: in the case of skin disease, many conditions are chronic and only controllable not curable)
3. It is best to avoid any practitioner or treatment who:
Claims to “cure” skin disease
Advises you to stop conventional treatment without consulting your GP
Makes you feel uncomfortable. (You need a good relationship to ensure full benefit from any treatment)
4. Finally, do you feel you can trust the answer to any of the above questions and how would you set about making sure? (If you are unsure or do not feel that you can verify the answers through an independent source, then think carefully before you proceed as it may be that the offering is too good to be true.)