Black salve in a nutshell

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Publication details

Croaker, A, Lim, A & Rosendahl, C 2018, 'Black salve in a nutshell', Australian Journal of General Practice, vol. 47, no. 12, pp. 864-867.

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Background: Black salve is an alternative therapy increasingly chosen by patients to selfmanage their skin lesions. It is promoted as an effective, safe and natural skin cancer treatment, but such claims are not evidence-based, and serious complications have been reported. The sale of black salve in Australia is illegal.
Objective: The aim of this article is to educate general practitioners (GPs) about black salve, enabling informed discussion with patients considering using black salve. An overview of the scientific literature is presented.
Discussion: Case reports have described significant morbidity and even mortality associated with the use of black salve. Despite this, black salve is readily accessible to the public online; a simple internet search yields multiple links to websites endorsing black salve as an effective natural skin cancer remedy. As GPs are often called on in the initial presentation of skin complaints, they are well positioned to ask patients about their use of black salve and educate them about its risks.

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