Boston – Classical individualized homeopathic medicine provides a safe, inexpensive and nontoxic alternative for common dermatologic conditions such as acne, warts and eczema, according to Robert J. Signore, D.O.
One specific advantage of incorporating homeopathic medicine into one's existing dermatology practice is that it might help reduce the amount of topical steroids and systemic antibiotics prescribed, says Dr. Signore, a Tinley Park, Ill., dermatologist in private practice. Dr. Signore spoke at the 2012 American Academy of Dermatology Summer Academy Meeting.
"There's nothing wrong with conventional dermatological treatment. We should be proud of what we can do with conventional dermatology. But homeopathic medicine can help sometimes when we have patients who don't seem to be getting better with the best conventional medicine we can give them,” he says.
A 225-patient study in atopic eczema showed that after two years of homeopathic treatment along with conventional treatment, average eczema severity scores improved substantially, and patients could reduce their use of conventional drugs (Witt CM, Ludtke R, Willich S. Acta Derm Venereol. 2009;89(2):182-183), Dr. Signore says.
A 17-case series showed similar results (Itamura R, Hosoya R. Homeopathy. 2003;92(2):108-114); when researchers added classical homeopathic medicine to these patients' conventional medications, "All 17 improved," Dr. Signore says. About half got 50 percent better; half got about 80 percent better; and one cleared completely, he says. Additionally, at the study's end, five of 17 were off topical steroids.
In conventional dermatology, clinching the diagnosis drives treatment choices, Dr. Signore says. But with individualized homeopathic medicine, even when one knows the diagnosis, two patients with the same dermatologic condition often would require different treatments.
Dr. Signore cites the example of a person with a warm body type and extroverted personality who most likely would benefit from taking a highly diluted form of sulfur orally, as opposed to a patient with a cool body type and shy personality who might instead require calcium carbonate.
It's also not uncommon for homeopathic medicine to improve seemingly unrelated medical conditions, Dr. Signore says, adding that in one case he treated, homeopathic sepia failed to improve a woman's melasma, but the patient considered the treatment successful because it appeared to lift her depression.
Disclosures: Dr. Signore reports no relevant financial interests.