Q:I was using tretinoin serum for the beneficial effect it is claimed to have on aging skin. However, I have stopped using it since being told that it is a drug and has other side effects beside that of improving a wrinkled skin. Would you please tell me what these other side effects are? Also, what about retinol. Is this safe to use? P.D. B., South Yorkshire.
"I am going to say a few words in defence of Dr Mansfield's faux pas about homoeopathy. I speak as an extreme chemical/food allergic, being almost totally allergic to chemicals,gases, waters, print and practically all today's modernity. I was treated by homoeopathy, and it most definitely made me worse very much so. I also know several other really bad chemical victims who have found the same.
"As an unfortunately very experienced allergy case, I would say the bad ones must have a clinical ecologist doctor. However, I do encourage the less bad cases to try homoeopathy, which they also have a chance of getting on the NHS.
"I went to one of the most well known homoeopathic doctors in Scotland. He said my immune system was too bad to take the potions. That, I am sure, was true. It is only coming round after 11 years of illness, and at that, not too well. And it slips back all too easily, notwithstanding strict diet and vitamins." M.R., Edinburgh.
"I read with interest the various suggestions concerning asthma made by your correspondents.
"They do not mention one other method which I have found successful: hypnotherapy. This is not hypnosis but a state of deep relaxation somewhere between sleeping and waking. In that state the client goes back to find the earliest experiences of asthma and any possible events associated with it, and may then relive those events in a new and healing way with the help of the therapist. In my limited experience I have found this effective every time in four to 10 sessions." H.L., Brighton.
All comments in this debate underscore the need for alternative and allopathic medicine to work hand in hand, to determine which will work best (or when to use both). for which individuals. editor.