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Nigerian Journal of Natural Products and Medicine

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Review of the use ethnobotanicals in the treatment of skin infections

I.T. Gbadamosi, M.M. Faniyan

Abstract


Skin problems are common in most of the tribal inhabitants and are caused by infections, over-exposure to sunlight, toxicity, parasites, unclean water and even stress. Infectious skin diseases are primarily categorized as bacterial, fungal, viral or parasitic diseases. Skin diseases occur all over the world, but are more prevalent in tropical regions and it is commonly observed in children, young adults and aged people. Globally, the prevalence studies in children documented the occurrence of skin diseases to be ranging from 21% to 87%. Socio-economic impacts of skin infections include poverty, joblessness, severe disability for work and limited life quality. High cost of orthodox antibiotics, resistance of microorganisms to the drugs and undesirable side effects of some antibiotics have led to the search for medicinal plants with plausible therapeutic effect in the management of skin infections. Plants have also been found to be less toxic, potent, readily available and affordable. Several medicinal plants have been used to manage skin infections in the traditional medicinal systems of many cultures worldwide. The present review gives information on the prevalence of skin infections, ethnobotanical survey reports of plants used in the management of skin infections and the pharmacological activities of the plants. The pharmacological activities of these plants include antibacterial, antifungal, anti-viral and anti-inflammatory properties. The present review constitutes a resource material which can engender further scientific investigation in the potential discovery of new natural bioactive compounds with antimicrobial effects on skin diseases.

Keywords: Skin infections, Prevalence, Anti-infective plants, Pharmacological activity, Indigenous Knowledge

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http://dx.doi.org/10.4314/njnpm.v20i1.21
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