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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2013, Article ID 673078, 14 pages
Review Article

Add-On Effect of Chinese Herbal Medicine Bath to Phototherapy for Psoriasis Vulgaris: A Systematic Review

1Department of Dermatology, The Second Clinical College, Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine, Guangzhou 510120, China
2Traditional & Complementary Medicine Research Program, Health Innovations Research Institute, School of Health Sciences, RMIT University, Bundoora Campus, Melbourne, VIC 3083, Australia
3Guangdong Provincial Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences and Guangdong Provincial Hospital of Chinese Medicine, Guangzhou 510120, China

Received 13 March 2013; Revised 14 June 2013; Accepted 20 June 2013

Academic Editor: Tai-Long Pan

Copyright © 2013 Jason Jingjie Yu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Psoriasis vulgaris is the most common form of psoriasis. Phototherapy has been proven effective for psoriasis, but side effects have become a concern. Chinese herbal medicine (CHM) bath combined with phototherapy has been used in clinical settings, but the additional benefit requires evaluation. This review aims to evaluate the additional benefit and safety of adding CHM bath to phototherapy for psoriasis vulgaris. Cochrane library, PubMed, Embase, CNKI, and CQVIP were searched from their inceptions to 6 August 2012. Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) comparing CHM bath plus phototherapy to phototherapy alone for psoriasis vulgaris were included. Data was analyzed using Review Manager 5.1.0. Thirteen RCTs were included in the review, and eight were included in the meta-analysis. Meta-analysis showed higher efficacy of CHM bath plus phototherapy when compared with phototherapy alone in terms of PASI 60 (RR 1.25; 95% CI: 1.18–1.32). Mild adverse events were reported in ten studies, but these could be alleviated by reducing UV dosage or applying emollient. In conclusion, CHM bath appears to be a beneficial and safe adjunctive therapy to phototherapy for psoriasis vulgaris. However, these results should be interpreted with caution due to the low methodological quality of the included studies.