Last revised by Ian Bickle on 21 Jul 2020

Self-limiting (a.k.a. self-recovering) is a term used in clinical medicine to refer to any disease whose natural history is to resolve without treatment. Many viral illnesses, e.g. upper respiratory tract infections, are self-limiting as patients will recover without taking any form of medicine.

However occasionally a self-limiting condition may still be treated because

  1. it will hasten the end of the disease, and/or
  2. symptoms are debilitating

Examples of self-limiting diseases:

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