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Summary Eczema in children is a chronic disabling condition. The impact of this condition on the lives of families is often underestimated by conventional physicians. As a consequence parents may investigate complementary treatment options. Close monitoring by a paediatrician is essential, considering that a variety of adverse effects can occur during the use of complementary treatment. We present a 5-year-old girl with eczema. She visited a Chinese herbalist who prescribed an ointment. The parents noticed that the eczema resolved fast, itching decreased and she was finally sleeping we