Atopic dermatitis (atopic eczema) is a chronic, relapsing, allergic inflammatory skin disease. The prevalence of atopic dermatitis has increased significantly over the past few decades, with highest rates of 45 – 64% occurring amongst preschool children1, and 40% amongst older children and adults2. This increase of prevalence is attributed to environmental factors such as microbial exposure and poor nutrition, which can all lead to atopic dermatitis3. The quality of life of patients suffering from atopic dermatitis and that of their family members is significantly affected2. Atopic dermatitis is characterized by active skin lesions that are red, flaky, dry and itchy4. Tis condition mostly occurs on the face, scalp and extensor surfaces of extremities in infants. In older children it commonly occurs in the flexural areas of the body3.
This study aimed to assess the effect of a homoeopathic complex consisting of Graphites 6cH, Histaminum 9cH, Psorinum 6cH and Sulphur 6cH, on atopic dermatitis in children. All the participants of the study received the homoeopathic complex. They were evaluated using the SCORAD index (Scoring of Atopic Dermatitis) and the Children’s Dermatology Life Quality Index.
Thirty four participants who met the inclusion and exclusion criteria were recruited to participate in this pre-test – post-test single group study by means of advertisements placed in and around primary schools in the Gauteng area (with relevant permission given) and in the local newspaper. Participants were also recruited via word of mouth. Once participants were accepted into the study they were allocated into the treatment group which received the homoeopathic complex. The study was done over a four week period. The percentage of the area affected, the intensity of the symptoms, the pruritus and the loss of sleep as well as the quality of life of the participants were evaluated on a weekly basis.
The results revealed that the treatment group showed significant improvements on the percentage of area affected; the intensity of the erythema, oedema, oozing/crusting, excoriation, lichenification and dryness of the atopic dermatitis, as well as itching of the affected area and the degree of sleep loss due to the atopic dermatitis. These improvements occurred in the third and fourth week. This shows that the homoeopathic complex had an effect on reducing the signs and symptoms caused by atopic dermatitis, after two weeks of treatment.
It can be concluded that the homoeopathic complex containing shows potential to have an effect on the signs and symptoms of atopic dermatitis, which warrants further research in this field.
1. Butler, N. (2009). National Guidelines at a glance: ATOPIC ECZEMA. S.A. Pharmaceutical Journal, Pp 32 -37.
2. Manjra, A. (2005). Atopic eczema: Current Therapeutic Advances, CME; 23(9): 460 – 462.
3. Schnopp, C. (2006). Probiotics in Atopic Eczema. Handbook of Atopic Eczema, Second edition. Germany, Springer, Pp 449 – 455
4. Fölster-Hols, R., Offick, B., Proksch, E., Schrezenmeir, J. (2007). Probiotics in Treatment and/or Prevention of Allergies. Nutrition and Health: Probiotics in Paediatric Medicine, 18: 243-267.