Homeopathic Treatment of Acne Vulgaris: An Open, Single-Arm, Non-Comparative Study
Background Acne is often treated at homeopathic clinics in India based on existing literature without using any measurable parameters and the outcomes are seldom reported, hence this study.
Objective To evaluate the effects of homeopathy on the treatment of acne using specific outcome measures related to severity and disability.
Methods It is an open, single-arm, non-comparative study undertaken at a clinic located in rural India using individualised homeopathy. Global Acne Grading System (GAGS) scores and Cardiff Acne Disability Index (CADI) scores were analysed at baseline and post medication at 3 and 6 months using one-way repeated measure analysis of variance (ANOVA) in Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) version 19 to assess the outcomes of intervention.
Results Eighty-four patients enrolled in the study were analysed under modified intention to treat approach. Nat-m (n = 14), Calc-s (n = 14), Sulph (n = 13), Kali-br (n = 10) and Hep-s (n = 9) were the most frequently used remedies. Significant differences were found in the severity of the disease and quality of life (QoL) from baseline to 6 months in terms of GAGS (mean difference, 15.47; standard error [SE], 0.69; 95% confidence interval [CI], 13.79–17.16; p < 0.001) and CADI (mean difference, 6.94; SE, 0.33; 95% CI, 6.12–7.75; p < 0.001) scores. A one–way repeated measures ANOVA was calculated and significant effects were found for GAGS scores (Wilks's lambda = 0.142; F [2, 82] = 248.50; p < 0.001; effect size = 0.748) and CADI scores (Wilks's lambda = 0.159; F [2, 82] = 217; p < 0.001; η2 = 0.786) at baseline and 3 and 6 months post medication. There was a positive correlation between the GAGS and CADI: r = 0.585, n = 84, p < 0.001.
Conclusions Acne can be effectively treated at homeopathic clinics along with improvement in QoL of patients. Increase in severity of acne was associated with worsening of QoL. Further pragmatic studies with comparative cohort is desirable.
Both authors conceptualised and designed the study. RS conducted the study and acquired the data while RKM reviewed the same. RS analysed and interpreted the data, and RKM made critical revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content. Both authors edited, reviewed and approved the final manuscript.
08 September 2020 (online)
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Thieme Medical and Scientific Publishers Private Ltd.
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