Homoeopathic treatment of vitiligo: an open observational pilot study
Keywords: Homoeopathy, vitiligo
AbstractBackground: Vitiligo is a common hypopigmentation disorder with significant psychological impact. An evaluation of homeopathic treatment was performed in individuals with vitiligo in a hospital outpatient clinic in West Bengal, India. Methods: Thirty participants (median age 27 years old, 57% female) were recruited for a prospective open-label pilot study and treated with individualized homeopathic medicines for 6 months. Efficacy was assessed after 3 months and 6 months using Vitiligo Area Scoring Index (VASI) score, Vitiligo European Task Force (VETF) score, and Dermatological Life Quality Index (DLQI) score, which are validated outcome measures evaluating the area, intensity, spread of depigmentation of vitiligo lesions, and quality of life (QoL). Results: A total of 27 participants completed the trial; 3 dropped out. After 6 months of treatment, the median VASI total score improved significantly by 0.1 units (p=0.003), from 0.8 (0.5, 1.5) to 0.7 (0.3, 0.8) on a scale from 0 (no depigmentation) to 100 (completely depigmented). Similarly, the VETF median score improved by 2 units (p=0.0001) from 1 (0, 1) to â€“1 (â€“1, 0) and the staging score changed from 1 (1, 2) to 1 (0, 1), p=0.002. The total DLQI median score exhibited significant reduction from 21 (17, 22) to 13.6 (10, 17), change 7.4 (p=0.0001), as also did its components. Conclusions: Individualized homeopathic treatment associated with significant improvement of VASI, VETF and DLQI scores. The extent to which the observed effects were due to placebo needs clarification in future randomized double-blind clinical studies preceded by feasibility studies. Trial Registration: Clinical Trials Registry, India registration number CTRI/2013/08/003879.