An Open-Label Pilot Study to Explore Usefulness of Homeopathic Treatment in Scabies in a Primary Health Centre Catering to a Low Socioeconomic Populace
05 February 2020 (online)
Background and Aim: Scabies affects around 200 million people at any one time, causes an intensely itchy rash, and may lead to secondary bacterial infection, autoimmune disease and poor QOL (quality of life). The WHO recommends that scabies be added to the neglected tropical disease portfolio and calls for action to improve control efforts. There are a number of medicines cited in homeopathic literature which can be used for treatment of scabious infestation. A pilot study was therefore undertaken to explore the usefulness of homeopathic medicines in the treatment of scabies.
Methods: In this study, more than 5,000 patients were screened at Delhi Government Homeopathic Dispensary Aali Village (DGHDAV), New Delhi, India between 1st April 2014 and 31st March 2015, and 146 were enrolled on the basis of pre-defined inclusion criteria. A single homeopathic medicine was prescribed for each patient with the help of materia medica and/or repertory on the basis of presenting symptoms. Response to homeopathic treatment was assessed on VAS (visual analogue scale) for itching and ORIDL (Outcome in Relation to Impact on Daily Living) scores for QOL.
Results: Remedial response was gauged in most of the patients within 48 hours and complete recovery was seen in 79.5% cases in a mean time of about 22 days. Significant differences were recorded in patients in their pre- and post-treatment VAS and ORIDL scores.
Conclusion: Homeopathic medicines have potential to treat scabious infestation by removing pruritus, eradicating lesions, restoring sleep and improving QOL. Homeopathy may provide a cost-effective treatment for scabies and a randomized controlled trial should be considered.
Keywords: Scabies, homeopathy, pilot study