Medical Journal - Houston (Internet / Print) June 2006 Column by Dr. Victor Sierpina: Did you ever consider the challenges dermatologists must have faced in the era before topical steroid creams and ointments were formulated? These useful agents have become so much a part of our prescribing culture that other effective remedies are either ignored or never taught to our students and house staff. Some of these folkloric applications of herbal formulas, poultices, and salves have been used across many cultures and many centuries. Aloe, calendula, and chamomile are among the best known of these botanical remedies. An integrative approach to dermatology requires an understanding of the wide variety of traditional and contemporary products available, attention to mind and body, consideration of allergic and nutritional factors, and perhaps just a bit of home wisdom.