Background: Skin conditions are among the most common health problems worldwide and are associated with immense psychological, social, and financial burdens. Atopic dermatitis, alopecia, eczema, diabetic ulcers, and abscesses are common acute or chronic conditions, which are increasing dramatically in prevalence due to industrialization and unhealthy lifestyle habits. The use of complementary and alternative medicine to treat skin diseases has been increasing in recent years.
Methods: This review focuses on proposed skin conditions for leech therapy as mentioned by Avicenna, a great Iranian philosopher and physician (980-1037 AD)in the Canon of Medicine. Electronic databases including PubMed, Scopus, and Google Scholar were searched for clinical studies on treatment protocols in this book to compare them with recent clinical trials involving leech therapy.
Results: Investigation of traditional Iranian medicine literature can lead to the identification of natural medicines for the management of skin problems. Leech saliva contains anti-coagulative, antiaggregative, and vasodilatory components.
Conclusions: In addition to the annelid’s mechanical ability to extract blood, leeches can contribute to patients’ health while posing minimal risks.