There is minimal evidence that homeopathy helps with psoriasis. A few case reports suggest it may have helped in certain individuals with psoriasis, but there are no larger-scale studies. Conversely, allopathy, which involves conventional medications, has more high quality studies showing its effectiveness.
In general, there is
Keep reading to learn more about homeopathy for psoriasis, including whether it works, the risks, and how it compares to Ayurveda and allopathic medications.
There is very little evidence that homeopathy is a reliable, effective, or safe treatment for psoriasis.
Homeopathy derives from
For example, if someone has an infection, a homeopathy practitioner might recommend a substance that produces fever in healthy people, as this is one of the symptoms.
The other theory is that the lower the dose of a medication, the greater its effect in triggering the body’s defenses against disease.
Some case reports suggest homeopathy may have helped certain individuals with psoriasis. For example, a
However, these reports have some limitations. Firstly, it had six participants — a very low number for a study — and the report’s authors say there may have been selection bias. This means there could have been a preference toward candidates who had favorable results from their treatment.
Secondly, there was no control group that would allow the authors to compare the effects of homeopathic treatment versus conventional, or “allopathic,” medicine or against no treatment at all. This means it is unclear if homeopathy would have worked better than typical psoriasis treatments or against a placebo.
With this in mind, larger controlled trials are necessary to determine if this approach can treat psoriasis effectively.
Homeopathic remedies can contain many different types of ingredients, from herbs to heavy metals. Some examples of remedies a homeopathic practitioner might suggest for psoriasis include:
- graphites, which come from carbon
- arsenicum album, which is a dilution of the toxic metal arsenic
- natrum sulphuricum, which is a dilution of sodium sulfate
However, no evidence proves any of these ingredients are effective for psoriasis.
- Unclear side effects: There are no standardized doses for homeopathic remedies. Although many products feature very diluted solutions of active ingredients, some contain sufficiently large quantities to cause side effects and drug interactions.
- Toxicity: Some homeopathic products contain heavy metals, which are toxic. In some remedies, there may be a high enough amount to cause side effects, some of which may be serious.
- Complications: An
older 2012 reviewassessed previous reports on homeopathic remedies. It found the products can cause side effects themselves, but they also pose a risk if people substitute conventional medicines for homeopathy. The effects ranged from mild to severe and included four deaths.
People should not take a homeopathic remedy without talking with a doctor first.
Ayurveda is an ancient medical system that aims to balance the body, mind, and spirit. It is a complete medical system with different theories and approaches to homeopathy.
Since there are very few studies on homeopathy for psoriasis, there are also few that compare the effectiveness of homeopathy against Ayurveda.
Additionally, some of the herbs in Ayurveda can cause side effects or interact with conventional medications.
Allopathy is an older term for conventional medications. While allopathic medications for psoriasis
Conventional treatment for psoriasis may involve topical products, such as:
- retinoids, which can aid skin healing
- corticosteroids, which reduce inflammation
- coal tar products, such as creams or soaps
- vitamin D-based products
There are also systemic treatments that affect the whole body, such as:
- oral retinoids
- methotrexate, which slows the growth of plaques
- immunosuppressants, which tone down an overactive immune system and are appropriate for severe cases
- phototherapy, which involves exposing the skin to UV light
Although allopathic medications have side effects, it is important to note that the FDA has evaluated all of them for their safety and effectiveness. This contrasts with homeopathic remedies, which do not have this advantage.
Homeopathic products for psoriasis may include potentially harmful ingredients, such as sulfur or nickel, none of which have FDA approval as a medical treatment. These products can also cause side effects, ranging from mild to serious.
While allopathic or conventional medications have side effects and cannot cure psoriasis, none of them can enter the market without FDA approval. This makes them a safer treatment option. FDA approval also means that science supports the claims concerning the effectiveness of the medications.
It is important to speak with a doctor before trying any alternative medicine, particularly if a person is also taking other medications.