Homeopathic medicine is a gentle form of complementary medicine which uses natural remedies which are regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Homeopathic medicines are listed in the homeopathic pharmacopoea of the United States (HPUS). Homeopathic medicine can be helpful in the treatment of acne (pimples), eczema, hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating), warts, and other common skin conditons.
Even though Dr. Signore's practice is limited to the treatment of skin diseases, he asks the homeopathic patient many questions regarding his or her life and past medical history. The more accurate details you can provide for the homeopathic practitioner, the better he can match your symptoms to find your individualized homeopathic remedy. Usually, the closer the symptoms match the remedy, the better the healing results are. If you wish to be treated with homeopathic medicine, please ask for a "homeopathic office consultation" when you make your appointment, so we can allow additional time for your office visit.
For skin diseases, it seems that the earlier in life that homeopathic medicine is started, the more readily these conditions respond to treatment. But, it's never too late to start treatment.
Hyperhidrosis (Excessive Sweating) is a common condition treated by dermatologists. Hyperhidrosis often occurs on the palm, soles, and underarms and frequently causes embarrassment in social situations. It can also be challenging and may interfere with occupations involving the use of hand tools and instruments. Dermatologists may treat excessive sweating with conventional methods such as topical antiperspirants and tap water iontophoresis. However, some cases can be very resistant to treatment.
The two photos below show a gentleman seen in Dr. Signore's dermatology office for hyperhidrosis of the palms, soles, and underarms. His dripping, sweaty palms made it difficult to complete college examinations (Scantron forms) and the sweating also messed-up his paperwork. Like most people with hyperhidrosis, he also experienced embarrassment in social situations. He also had anxiety and was taking a prescription medicine for this. He also had acne pimples on the face and had experienced the death of a close relative early in life. He wished to try homeopathic medicine, so he underwent a 2-hour homeopathic initial evaluation. Based on his evaluation, Dr. Signore selected his individualized natural homeopathic remedy (which was derived from the St. Ignatius bean).
The second photo shows this same patient's palm 7 1/2 weeks after homeopathic treatment: his sweating has improved by about 70% and he now can confidently shake hands with a dry palm! His anxiety is about 30% - 40% improved and his facial acne is all clear. No other new topical or oral medications were used. This case illustrates the importance of a detailed homeopathic evaluation and shows that other seemingly unrelated medical conditions, such as anxiety or acne pimples, may also improve with homeopathic medicine. (Photos - R. Signore, DO, Copyright, 2012)
This gentleman presented to Dr. Signore's dermatology office because he had excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis) on his hands, feet, and underarms for the past 9 years. His excessive sweating made taking tests in college difficult and the profuse sweat interfered with paperwork. Like most patients with hyperhidrosis, he experienced embarrassment in social situations.
This photo shows the same gentleman after 7 1/2 weeks of his homeopathic constitutional remedy (which is made from the St. Ignatius bean),, which was given once per week. Initially, we began treatment 3 times per week, but he felt lightheaded and tired. So, the homeopathic remedy was temporarily stopped until these symptoms went away; then we restarted it at just once per week. The above photo shows that his hyperhidrosis is approximately 70% improved. He is very pleased because he can now shake hands with a dry hand and feel normal again!
This healthy young man (pictured above) was seen in Dr. Signore's dermatology office for excessive perspiration (hyperhidrosis) on his palms, soles, and underarms for the past 14 years. Having excessively sweaty hands was very embarassing for him. He underwent a lengthy office visit and was asked many questions to determine the best choice of individualized homeopathic medicine. He then took his constitutional homeopathic remedy twice daily for 3 weeks. The second photo, taken 3 weeks later, shows that his fingers and hands are approximately 30% to 40% less sweaty. At this point, Dr. Signore increased his homeopathic remedy to the next stronger potency, which the patient took once per week. Four weeks later, his sweating was 75% better. He is very pleased that he is sweating much less. He now can walk barefoot at home, now that his feet sweat much less. He is also pleased that he now can wear colored shirts, which he used to avoid previously (because the excessive sweating used to show up on light colored shirts).
The gentleman shown below had chronic eczema of the hands and fingers for 12 years which prevented him from playing the guitar. He had failed numerous prescription steroid creams from his previous physicians. His rash had a burning sensation and often developed cracks in the skin (fissures). He made an initial homeopathic visit and Dr. Signore discussed the patient's lengthy questionnaire and asked him numerous additional questions about his condition. He had cold feet and he also had athlete's foot fungus. He was worse in a hot, stuffy room. He craved sweets but also suffered from diabetes.
Based on this evaluation, Dr. Signore found that this patient's signs and symptoms best matched the constitutional remedy which was derived from a club moss, which the patient took by mouth twice a day. He also used prescription Exelderm Cream for his foot fungus and over-the-counter Aveeno Moisturizing Cream at night on his hands.
This gentleman was treated in Dr. Signore's dermatology office for chronic hand eczema which prevented him from playing the guitar. He had eczema for 12 years and had failed numerous prescription topical steroid creams.
Shown below after 3 weeks of homeopathic treatment, the same gentleman's chronic eczema of the hands and fingers is completely clear. He now can play the guitar again (he recently performed with a band for 4 hours in a local club). Note: no topical steroids were prescribed. (Photos - Copyright 2012, R. Signore, DO)
At 3 weeks after taking his individualized constitutional homeopathic remedy (which was a plant remedy made from the club moss), his hand eczema was completely clear. He could now play the guitar again without annoying cracks in his fingers. He also used Aveeno Moisturizing Cream at night on his hands and prescription Exelderm Cream twice a day for his athlete's foot fungus.
Perioral dermatitis is a facial eruption which occurs in young to middle-aged people. Perioral dermatitis is not thought to be an infection, but its cause is unknown. Without treatment, it can last for months to years. Its appearance is unsightly, and patients may complain of irritation, burning, or itching. Dermatologists usually treat perioral dermatitis patients with oral and topical antibiotics for up to several months. Persons with perioral dermatitis should avoid using cortisone creams or prescription topical steroids on their faces because they can make this skin condition worse.
This young person was treated in Dr. Signore's dermatology office for perioral dermatitis of 1 month's duration. She requested natural homeopathic treatment. Therefore, no antibiotics or topical treatments were used. After a 2 hour initial homeopathic consultation was done, Dr. Signore selected and prescribed this patient's constitutional homeopathic medicine, which happened to be homeopathic sodium chloride, based on her medical history.
After 13 weeks, this patient's perioral dermatitis is almost completely clear. No antibiotics were given and no topical treatments were given.
This 7 year old boy, pictured below, was seen in Dr. Signore's dermatology office with a rash around the mouth for the past 1 week. He was otherwise healthy and had no preceding infections or prior treatment. The diagnosis of perioral dermatitis was made. Based on the patient's history, Dr. Signore selected the patient's individualized homeopathic remedy. The next photo below it shows this same patient 3 weeks later after taking one dose of his homeopathic constitutional remedy, which was Pulsatilla. His rash cleared nicely and treatment with oral antibiotics was avoided. No topical creams or lotions were prescribed.
Young child seen in Dr. Signore's office with perioral dermatitis before treatment.
Young child seen 3 weeks after successful homeopathic constitutional treatment. Note: perioral dermatitis has completely resolved without oral antibiotics or topical creams.
However, there are other skin diseases that can occur around the mouth besides perioral dermatitis. This young lady, shown below, was seen in Dr. Signore's dermatology office with a history of papules around the mouth which were present for one year. The viral skin infection, molluscum contagiosum, was diagnosed.
The viral infection, molluscum contagiosum, is present on the face
This patient and her mother requested a treatment for her molluscum contagiosum that would not be painful. Therefore, they chose homeopathic treatment. Dr. Signore asked the patient numerous questions to try to determine her indivualized homeopathic remedy (also called her "constitutional remedy", or "chronic remedy".) She took 3 successive homeopathic medicines by mouth over the next 3 months. You can see in the photo shown below that her molluscum contagiosum papules have completely resolved at week 12. This patient was able to avoid painful therapies. Note: no other treatments were given.
At week 12, all molluscum contagiosum are completely resolved with classical homeopathic treatment.
One unique aspect of homeopathic medicine is that the selection of the correct homeopathic medicine by the physician depends on the individual patient'ssymptoms and signs (known as "rubrics") as well as their diagnosis. Therefore, two persons with the same skin disease might need two completely different homeopathic medicines for healing. Thus, just because a patient's rash successfully improves with one remedy, this does not necessarily mean that another person with the same rash will clear with the same remedy. That is why obtaining a complete case history is important in homeopathic medicine.
Acne vulgaris, or acne pimples, are commonly seen on the face, back, and chest in both teenagers and adults. Acne manifests as blackheads and whiteheads (known as comedones), papules, pustules, and nodules (also known as acne cysts). When acne becomes severe, it is often inflamed, painful, and results in scarring of the skin. Patients often see a dermatologist to help get their acne under control. The main goals of acne treatment are to prevent scarring and to improve appearance. Dermatologists are well aware of the importance of acne treatment and its positive effect on a person's self-esteem, confidence, and quality of life.
Persons with acne are usually treated by dermatologists with topical creams, washes, and oral antibiotic pills. If you are interested in avoiding the use of antibiotic pills in the treatment of acne, you may ask Dr. Signore about the possibility of treatment with natural homeopathic medicines.
The young woman, shown in the photos below, had acne on her back for 11 years. However, for the first time, she developed itchy facial acne 6 weeks ago when a close relative died. She was treated with homeopathic sodium chloride, clindamycin lotion, and 5% benzoyl peroxide cleansing bar for her acne and acute grief reaction. One week after beginning homeopathic treatment, she was able to cry and felt much better. 23 days later, her acne was much improved as shown in the photos below. Additionally, her acne was much less itchy, and emotionally she felt much better. She noticed she had more energy, her sleep disturbance had resolved. She noticed that her mood was now more stable. A glycolic acid toner was begun and the 5% benzoyl peroxide cleansing bar was stopped. In the photo on the right at 8 weeks, her facial acne was much improved. In this patient, the use of oral antibiotics was avoided by using a homeopathic medicine.
This patient was successfully treated with a natural homeopathic medicine, which was helpful in avoiding the use of systemic antibiotics in this patient.
Molluscum contagiosum is a common viral infection which is seen in children and adults. It is transmitted from person to person by skin-to-skin contact. Molluscum contagiosum skin lesions are often treated by dermatologists with surgical curettage, freezing with liquid nitrogen (cryosurgery), imiquimod cream, and topical cantharidin liquid. However, this viral infection may be amenable to homeopathic treatment, if the signs and symptoms of the patient are matched closely to the proper homeopathic remedy.
The young child with molluscum contagiosum of the underarm and chest, shown below, was successfully treated with homeopathic medicine. (Note - No other medicines were used in the treatment of this patient's molluscum contagiosum:
Note: When this young boy's father came in with him at his 4 week check-up, he noticed that his son's atopic eczema itched less while taking the homeopathic calcium carbonate. We continued this remedy and when he returned at 8 weeks, not only were his molluscum still clear, but his eczema was 99 % clear. (The patient was able to discontinue his pediatrician's topical steroids.)
Eczema is a skin condition which can be treated with homeopathic medicine. Often, the earlier in life homeopathic medicine is begun, the more readily eczema responds. Eczema commonly begins very early in life, at about 3 months of life or older. For some reason, homeopathic medicine seems to work more quickly when it is begun before the patient has received topical steroid creams and ointments. So, the ideal time to begin homeopathic treatment of eczema is in infancy, as soon as the eczema starts. But, it's never too late to start treatment.
The young woman shown below, who was treated in Dr. Signore's dermatology office, had a new onset case of atopic eczema on the eyelids, ears, chest, back, arms, and legs. It occurred shortly after a major family stress which caused her to feel very sad and angry. Even though she was sad, she was uncomfortable with consolation. Her eczema had failed her previous physicians' treatment which included: topical steroids, oral steroids, and an antihistamine. This patient also had photophobia (her eyes were extremely sensitive to bright sunlight - she could only tolerate 1 minute of bright sun without wearing sunglasses.)
The photo below shows her eczema before and after treatment with homeopathic sodium chloride 30C and topical desonide ointment. After 3 weeks of treatment, her eczema severity improved by approximately 70%. Her mother also noticed she was happier and had much less sadness and anger. Interestingly, her eyes became much less sensitive to bright sunlight. When a patient is treated with homeopathic medicine, sometimes other seemingly unrelated medical conditions can improve in addition to their skin.
The patient in the photos below is a very nice woman in her fifties who had irritant contact eczema of her fingertips. Her fingertips were very painful because her eczema formed deep fissures (cracks) in the skin. Her eczema was persistent despite the use of high-potency prescription steroid cream and ointment.
The photo on the right shows the same patient with complete healing of her eczema four weeks after beginning homeopathic SODIUM CHLORIDE taken by mouth every two days. Note: no topical steroids were used. Interestingly, her bowel movements, which had been constipated, were now softer and more normal. Her knee pain, which previously was worse with walking up and down stairs, has also improved. Her guilt and anxiety also improved since taking her homeopathic medicine.
The young woman shown below had irritant eczema of the hands. She, too, had painful cracks in the skin which were associated with frequent hand washing associated with her occupation. As you can see in the following photos, her eczema completely cleared with the use of her homeopathic remedy. Note: no topical steroids were used. (Photos copyrighted by: Cosmetic Dermatology Journal). (Reference: Signore RJ. "Classic Homeopathic Medicine and the Treatment of Eczema". Cosmetic Dermatology. 2011; Vol. 24: Pages 420-425.) To read our article online, click on: www.nationalcenterforhomeopathy.org/files/Signore.pdf
Patient with hand eczema. Hands are dry and chapped. Note deep painful cracks in skin. (Photo Copyrighted By: Cosmetic Dermatology Journal, 2011)
9 days after starting treatment with homeopathic petroleum 30C three times daily by mouth, cracks in skin have healed and hands are approximately 80% less dry. Note: pain from cracked skin was much improved within first 3 days of treatment.
After 3 weeks of homeopathic petroleum 30C three times daily, fissures and dryness are completely resolved, despite frequent handwashing and hand sanitizing. Note: no topical steroids were used. (Photo Copyrighted By: Cosmetic Dermatology Journal, 2011)
This woman's hands (pictured above) were very dry as a result of the cold and dry winter weather. She was initially treated with homeopathic sulfur which helped the painful cracked skin heal. However, when the homeopathic sulfur was stopped, the cracked skin returned. Based on her extensively repertorized history, a new homeopathic remedy was selected. On the third day of Staphysagria 30C, this patient's cracked skin had healed.
Warts are a common cutaneous viral infection which can be amenable to gentle treatment by homeopathic medicines. The young person, shown below, is an actual patient treated in Dr. Signore's dermatology office. She had 14 warts on the fingers. Additionally, she had guilt, sadness, and anxiety. Also, she was quite thirsty. Upon further questioning, her mother suffered the loss of her grandfather while she was still pregnant with the patient show below. When we studied the case in detail (repertorization), we found that the homeopathic remedy NATRUM MURIATICUM best fit the totality of the case. This remedy fit the patient's sadness, grief, and even her thirst. NATRUM MURIATICUM was prescribed. At 4 weeks, the patient only had 6 warts remaining on the fingers. Her guilt, sadness, and anxiety had improved by 70%. At 8 weeks, all the warts on the fingers had resolved. Her guilt, sadness, and anxiety had also resolved. Interestingly, her great thirst had normalized. This successful case illustrates that homeopathic medicine seeks to treat the patient, not just the specific disease. When the homeopathic medicine fits the patient's signs and symptoms very closely, other seemingly unrelated symptoms have the chance of healing as well.
Viral warts are a common skin condition amenable to gentle homeopathic medical treatment. This young person had 14 warts on the fingers.
At 4 weeks of homeopathic medical treatment, there are only 6 warts remaining on the fingers. Notably, the patient's guilt, sadness, and anxiety had improved by 70%.
At 8 weeks of therapy, all warts on the fingers had resolved. Her sadness, guilt, and anxiety had resolved. Her thirst had also normalized.
The patient pictured below was going away to college in a few months and wished to heal the unsightly warts around the fingernails. Homeopathic medicine was chosen and a lengthy medical history was obtained, including aspects of the mental / emotional and physical health. Based on the information obtained, a homeopathic remedy was chosen which best suited this individual patient. SEPIA was started. At six weeks, one wart had completely resolved, but the other was still present, so CAUSTICUM was added.
The following photo, at 10 weeks, shows both periungual warts resolved completely, without any discomfort or evidence of scarring. Of note, the patient's mild acne vulgaris also improved.
Homeopathic medical remedies are inexpensive and many are available over-the-counter. However, one of the most important aspects of homeopathic medicine is the process of repertorization, by which the physician closely matches the patient's signs and symptoms (also known as 'rubrics'). The more closely the patient's signs and symptoms match the remedy's known signs and symptoms, the higher the likelihood is of healing.
Warts located close to the nails can be difficult to eradicate. This patient opted for natural treatment with a homeopathic remedy. After obtaining a lengthy homeopathic history, an individualized remedy was selected for this patient. SEPIA was started. Then at 6 weeks, CAUSTICUM was added.
At 10 weeks after beginning homeopathic medicine, the periungual warts are completely resolved, without any discomfort or scarring.
Acne vulgaris is a common skin condition seen in both adolescents and adults. 70 percent of high school men and women have acne pimples. It is sometimes possible to successfully treat acne without the use of antibiotic pills by using natural homeopathic medicines as seen in the following actual patient photographs from Dr. Signore's office.
The young lady shown below had a difficult to treat variant of facial acne known as acne excoriee' des jeunes filles. In addition to acne, she had painful menstrual cramps which were severe enough to have to lie in bed for the first two days of each menstrual period. Also, she had situational anxiety and was under emotional stress. As a result, she struggled with insomnia with many sleepless nights. When she was evaluated for a homeopathic remedy, all these factors were taken into consideration, not just her skin problem:
Pre-treatment photo of acne patient with cutaneous excoriations
4 weeks after receiving homeopathic natrum muriaticum 1M (constitutional treatment) and calcarea phosphorica 30C, the patient's acne excoriee has healed almost completely. Her anxiety and menstrual cramps have also improved. Her insomnia completely resolved.
Four weeks after beginning her homeopathic medicines and benzoyl peroxide 2.5% wash, the above young lady's acne excoriee' was much improved. Interestingly, her sleep difficulties completely resolved and her menstrual cramps and anxiety also improved.
Homeopathic medicine strives to treat the whole person. Our office specializes in treating people with skin disorders. However, when the homeopathic remedy matches the person very closely, other underlying conditions have the possibility of improving also, as seen in the young women described above and below.
The next case, shown below, was a young woman who had inflammatory acne of the shoulders. Additionally, she suffered from headaches and upper abdominal pain. When selecting her homeopathic remedy, all these conditions were taken into consideration, not just her acne pimples:
Young woman with acne pimples on right shoulder, prior to homeopathic acne treatment
18 weeks after beginning homeopathic Pulsatilla 200C, acne pimples are almost completely clear. The addition of homeopathic treatment has allowed this patient to stop taking her antibiotic pills (doxycyline). The only prescription acne medicine still being used at 18 weeks is 8% benzoyl peroxide wash. Note: Additionally, this patient has not had any further headaches or abdominal pain. She has not needed her Aciphex (rabeprazole).
The young woman , shown above, was started on homeopathic pulsatilla by mouth and benzoyl peroxide 8% wash. The addition of a homeopathic medicine allowed this patient to stop her doxycycline antibiotic pills. At 18 weeks after beginning homeopathic treatment, her inflammatory acne improved greatly. At this time, she has not had any further headaches or abdominal pain.
Lichen striatus is a self-limited, inflammatory linear eruption of sudden onset and unknown origin. It is unilateral and usually appears on the arm, leg, or lateral neck. However, it can appear on any area of the body. It occurs mainly in children, but it may also affect adults. Spontaneous involution can be expected within three to twelve months. However, some lichen striatus lesions can persist for over a year.
This healthy toddler presented with a 1 week history of a linear, serpiginous rash which did not get better with her primary physician's topical steroid cream.
3 weeks after beginning treatment with homeopathic calcarea carbonica 30C twice daily by mouth, the eruption had improved by approximately 50% in width and redness. Additionally, her stools were less hard and she no longer cried with bowel movements. Also, her head perspired less during sleep.
After six and one-half weeks of homeopathic calcarea carbonica twice a day, the infant's lichen striatus rash had completely resolved. Note: lichen striatus normally takes at least three to twelve months to spontaneously resolve.
The 48 year-old woman, pictured below, was diagnosed by Dr. Signore with a case of early herpes zoster ( also known as shingles). Herpes zoster is a very painful and itchy rash which is caused by reactivation of the chickenpox virus. The rash of herpes zoster is preceded by unilateral shooting or stabbing pains, which can last anywhere from 1 to 14 days. Once the eruption of untreated shingles occurs, active blisters usually form in clusters for the first 3 to 5 days. Crusts (scabs) then form over two to three weeks, and the rash then resolves.
The patient below was fortunate to have sought medical attention promptly - she was diagnosed within 12 hours of onset of the shingles rash. According to Fitzpatrick's Color Atlas and Synopsis of Clinical Dermatology, early diagnosis and treatment (begun within 72 hours) may accelerate healing of skin lesions, decrease duration of acute pain, and decrease the frequency of post-herpetic neuralgia. Prescription antiviral drugs, such as acyclovir, are normally prescribed for acute herpes zoster. However, this patient refused prescription antiviral therapy and requested only natural treatment of her shingles. Therefore, the case history was taken and repertorized. In this individualized case, the most fitting remedy was HOMEOPATHIC RHUS TOXICODENDRON 200C, which was begun within the first 12 hours of the rash.
As you scroll through these case photos, you will see that the shingles rash continued to worsen over the first 3 to 4 days, as one would expect. However, only one frank blister appeared, and the rash did not worsen any more after that. Note also that the back pain improved within the first 1 to 2 hours after beginning homeopathic medical therapy. So, even as the rash progressed during the first several days as would be expected by the natural course of the disease, the back pain had already improved greatly. The only other treatment the patient received for her acute herpes zoster was topical homeopathic CALENDULA CREAM for the first several days. (Note: no prescription antivirals or steroid medications were used.)
As you can see below, on day 15, our patient's shingles rash has completely resolved. (The faint pink patches are called "post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation" and will fade completely with time.)
Herpes zoster (shingles) is caused by a reactivation of the chicken pox virus, which previously had stayed dormant in the body. The rash of shingles is characterized by a painful blistering linear eruption which is usually only on one side of the body. Pain usually precedes the rash by about 3 to 5 days. The blisters are usually arranged in grouped clusters. Unfortunately, shingles can leave scarring on the skin and can even cause blindness when it involves the eye. The sooner treatment is begun, the better. The goals of shingles treatment include: reducing pain, reducing viral shedding, and shortening the duration of rash. One serious long-term complication of shingles is post-herpetic neuralgia. The pain of post-herpetic neuralgia is described as burning and shooting, and can last for months, and even years after the rash of shingles has gone away.
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Robert J. Signore, D.O., P.C. Dermatology 17730 S. Oak Park Avenue, Suite C Tinley Park, Illinois 60477 (708) 429-2992 Phone (708) 429-3699 FAX