Homeopathy in dermatology


Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Josef Smolle, MD, Department of Dermatology, University of Graz, Auenbruggerplatz 8, A-8036 Graz, Austria, or email: josef.smolle@kfunigraz.ac.at.


ABSTRACT:  Alternative methods are commonly used in patients with dermatologic diseases, with homeopathy being one of the most common. Homeopathy was developed by Samuel Hahnemann (1755–1843) and is based on the law of similars and the law of infinitesimals. It is a regulatory therapy where high dilutions of particular compounds are thought to induce a counterreaction in the organism. In dermatology, homeopathy is often used in atopic dermatitis, other forms of eczema, psoriasis, and many other conditions. To date, however, there is no convincing evidence for a therapeutic effect. There are only a few controlled trials, most of them with negative results. The few studies with positive results have not been reproduced. Acceptance by the patient seems largely based on counseling and emotional care rather than on objective responses to the homeopathic drugs.