Materia Medica

Most frequently indicated homeopathic medicines in various skin diseass with guidelines for potency have been presented by Wilhlem karo in his book of anatomy and physiology of the skin….

MATERIA MEDICA (Alphabetically arranged)

THE following drugs are most frequently indicated in cases of skin diseases. But certainly they are not the only ones. We must sometimes choose the drug in a special case in accordance with a symptom which has nothing to do with the skin disease. A good homoeopath always acts according to our fundamental law: “Let like be cured by like.” That means, the homoeopath takes the totality of all subjective and objective symptoms. Only such a treatment is homoeopathic, if the drug prescribed is the similimum for the special patient; that means, if the drug- picture and the symptom-picture are alike.


General Indications. Acute diseases. High temperature due to catarrhal inflammations coupled with the greatest unrest and anxiety. Peripheral neuralgic pains.

Key Symptoms. Restlessness, fear of death. Onset of colds due to dry coldness or draught. Dryness of the skin. Thirst. Suddenness of all symptoms. Aggravation of all symptoms in the evening and during night. Better by perspiration.

SKIN DISEASES. Pruritus, urticaria, herpes zoster during the first stage characterized by fever, sharp neuralgic pains.

Aconite should be given in low potencies.


General Indication and Key Symptoms. Disorders of the nervous system. Convulsions and trembling of the extremities. The skin troubles usually due to disorder of the circulation and the glands. Skin of face and head reddened, burning, itching, sensation of stinging by ice-needles. Aggravation of all symptoms by rest, in the morning. Better by motion, in the evening.

SKIN DISEASES. Acne, seborrhoea, erythema multiforme. Agaricus should be given in the 4-6 decimal potency.


General Indications. Acute feverish diseases with nervous disorders. Erysipelas.

Key Symptoms. Weakness of memory. Irresolute-system.

Especially women with low vitality, always sensitive and ailing. Bleeding from the nose, when washing the face.

SKIN DISEASES. Rashes in cases of scarlet fever, measles, Psoriasis, burns, eczema with burning and itching.

Low potencies should be given.


General Indications. Chronic diseases. Neurasthenia.

Hypochondria. Illusional depression. Indigestion and skin diseases.

Key Symptoms. Hypersensibility of the nervousness. Despair. Itching and burning sensations, aggravated late in the evening.

SKIN DISEASES. Herpes zoster, herpes labialis and genitalis.

Pemphigus, urticaria, warts, vesicles and bulbous eczema.

Low potencies are effective.


The drug is indicated in the blue boils with burning pains, and in hard carbuncles accompanied by serious cerebral symptoms and exhausting perspiration.

Anthracinum, must be given in high potency. Only a few doses are necessary (Anthracinum 30x).

ANTIMONIUM CRUDUM General Indications. Metabolic disorders. Nausea. Indigestion. Corpulence. Gout. Uric acid. Eczema. Urticaria.

Key Symptoms. Very irritable and peevish. Tongue with thick white coat. Skin hardened with honey-like scabs. Aggravation by wet cold, cold bath, by sun or fire heat, during the night. Better by rest and in the open air. Especially indicated in children and old men.

SKIN DISEASES. Pimples and pustules on the face, yellowish scabs. Urticaria, impetigo, subacute eczema about the nostrils and mouth, ears and eyelids. Horny warts and rhagades of the hands and feet. Impetigo contagiosa.

Low potencies are most effective.


Stimulates the secretions of the skin, giving rise to papules, vesicles and pustules. It depresses the functions of circulation and respiration, causing nausea, faintness and prostration.

SKIN DISEASES. Acne, herpes, impetigo and impetigo contagiosa.

The best potency is 3x.


General Indications. Inflammatory oedematous conditions resulting in the formation of exudates. The cutaneous eruptions are especially located on the face (the lower eyelid) and extremities.

Key Symptoms. Thirstless during fevers. Weakness. Sensation of stinging, burning pricking, itching. Aggravation in the afternoon, by heat, better by cold.

SKIN DISEASES. Urticaria, boils, carbuncle. Erysipelas. Bites of insects. Erythema nodosum.

Potencies 3x to 5x are the most frequently used.

ARNICA General Indications. Mechanical injuries. Haemorrhages. Bruises.

Key Symptoms. Serious pains in the whole body. Face hot, reddened, General lassitude. Throbbing, burning, stitching pains.

SKIN DISEASES. Boils, symmetrically distributed, bluish red.

Erysipelas with tendency to vesicles and bulbae. Dermatitis, psoriasis, acne, diabetic gangrene.

Low and high potencies are useful. Mother tincture for local application.


General Indications. Infectious diseases. Bright’s disease.

Septic conditions. Diseases of the circulatory organs and of the blood.

Key Symptoms. Restlessness, anxiety, fear of death. Great thirst, relieved by drinking little water. Aggravation by cold and wetness, better by warmth. Worse during midnight.

SKIN DISEASES. Erysipelas, herpes zoster, eczema of the squamous type, psoriasis, ichthyosis, ulcers of the legs, carbuncles, epithelioma.

Low and high potencies can be used. The high potencies must be given when the general local symptoms and modalities of the disease correspond to the drug-picture.

ARSENICUM IODATUM It is superior to Arsenicum album in some skin diseases, characterized by papules, vesicles or pustules. It is especially indicated in tuberculous, weakened patients with enlarged lymphatic glands, burning pains, worse from washing the affected parts of the skin.

SKIN DISEASES. Acne, lichen, Prurigo, impetigo contagiosa, epithelioma.

Low potencies are advisable.


General Indications. The barium salts are indicated in children and senile men; especially in chronic ailments. All barium cases are psoric or scrofulous.

Key Symptoms. Lack of vitality. Aggravation by alcoholic beverages and in the morning.

SKIN DISEASES. ECZEMA, pruritis senilis, lipoma, warts characterized by intolerable itching, acne, alopecia.

Potencies from 6x-12x are most frequently used.


General Indications. Acute infectious diseases, acute rashes with hyperaemia and hypersensibility of the skin.

Key Symptoms. Congestion to the head, pupils dilated. All pains come very suddenly, increase slowly and vanish suddenly. All senses oversensitive. Skin hot, reddened.

SKIN DISEASES. Erysipelas, acute rashes, boils, acute dermatitis.

Low potencies are necessary.


General Indications. Feverish catarrhal and rheumatic acute or subacute inflammatory conditions.

Key Symptoms. Choleric, meagre patients with yellowish complexion, angry, inclined to perspiration. Aggravation by movement, by touching, in the open air, during the night and early in the morning. Better when lying on the diseased side, by strong pressure on the diseased part, when keeping quiet and by warmth. Very thirsty. Pains are pricking.

SKIN DISEASES. Acute eczema, urticaria, acute rashes (measles, scarlet fever), purpura, seborrhic dermatitis.

Low potencies are advisable.

BUFO This drug acts on the nervous system and the skin. It is especially indicated in conditions characterized by vesicles and bullae, couple with itching or burning sensations.

SKIN DISEASES. Pompholyx, pemphigus.

Potencies 6x or 10x are most reliable.


General Indications. Constitutional disorders, scrofula, rickets, anaemia; fatty patients with fair skin, large abdomen, free perspiration, sensitive to cold and easily fatigued.

Key Symptoms. Hands and feet cold and moist, constipation, increased perspiration. Aggravation by cold, wetness, exertion. Better in the morning, in the open, dry air.

SKIN DISEASES. Eczema on the head, urticaria, disappearing in cool air. Alopecia, due to constitutional weakness.


General Indications. Diseases due to disorders in the fibroelastic tissues of the blood-vessels, lymphatics and the skin.

Key Symptoms. Aggravation by cold, better by warmth.

Dilation of the blood vessels. Indurated lymphatic glands.

SKIN DISEASES. Chronic eczema with thickening and cracking of the skin. Psoriasis of the extremities.

Low potencies are useful.


General Indications. Asthenic scrofulous patients. Anaemia, chlorosis, tuberculosis of the lungs.

Key Symptoms. Aggravation of all symptoms by movement, wetness, mental work. Better in the morning, when taking the recumbent position. Patients with dark hair and dark eyes. Craving for condiments.

SKIN DISEASES. Acne, alopecia prematura, papulopustular eczema in young people; itching worse from changes of weather, especially to cold or wet. Pruritus senilis, prurigo anaemic, thin children.

High potencies are advisable.


General Indications. Tendency of all diseases to suppurate.

Key Symptoms. Aggravation from contact with water.

SKIN DISEASES. Acne, eczema of the head in infants and children with abundant purulent exudation and yellowish crusts. Eczema about the ears. Scabies. Boils and carbuncles in the stage of persistent suppuration.

Potencies from 6x-30 can be used.


General Indications. Acute inflammations of the mucous membranes; the skin and the urinary organs.

Key Symptoms. Burning, biting, itching, sticking pains, aggravation by warmth, touch, pressure and during night. Better by cold.

SKIN DISEASES. Acute vesicular eczema with burning pains. Burns, pruritus, herpes zoster, pemphigus, erysipelas.

Potencies 3x-6x.


General Indications. Scrofulous patients. Sadness, weakness, confusion of the head, desire for being alone.

Key Symptoms. Sensation of burning, tearing, tension, aggravated by cold, warmth of bed, scratching; better by rubbing.

SKIN DISEASES. Chilblains, acne rosacea, epithelioma, warts on the hands or face of old patients with bluish colour of extremities.

High potencies are advisable.


General Indications. Chronic diseases of patients with low vitality. Disorders of the circulatory and digestive organs.

Key Symptoms. Coldness of the skin, especially of the extremities. Flatulence, indigestion. Itching, aggravated by bed- warmth. Increased, bad smelling perspiration during night.

SKIN DISEASES. Scrofulous eczema, purpura, herpes progenitalis, carbuncle in the ulcerative stage with burning pains and cold extremities.

Potencies 6x or high potencies.


General Indications. Anaemic patients, disposition to bleeding, ague, diseases of the liver.

Key Symptoms. Tendency to periodicity of all symptoms. Exhaustion, diarrhoea, night sweats, pale and sunken face, sensitiveness to touch, aggravation during night, by pressure, friction of exercise. Better from scratching.

SKIN DISEASES. Acne rosacea, herpes zoster, erysipelas, urticaria, purpura.

Potencies 3x-6x are advisable.


General Indications. Convulsions, muscular twitching, due to cerebrospinal irritations.

Key Symptoms. Saliva increased. Sensation of burning, itching, worse from touch and sitting; better from pressure and scratching.

SKIN DISEASES. Impetigo contagiosa, eczema of the head, erysipelas of the face. Epithelioma of the lips.


General Indications and Key Symptoms. Rheumatic patients, suffering from uric acid. Papules and vesicles; itching, crawling, sticking sensations, worse on the hairy parts of the skin.

SKIN DISEASES. Impetigo, herpes, pemphigus.

Potencies 2x-4x are the best.


General Indications and Key Symptoms. Neurasthenic patients, very weakened, exhausted, sleeplessness. Vomiting. Burning, itching pains, aggravation from riding, all exertion, eating, drinking, after smoking.

SKIN DISEASES. Impetigo, pruritus, prurigo. Vesicles with burning pains. Potency 3x is the best.


General Indications. Disorders of the peripheral nerves, enlargement of the lymphatic glands, disorders of the portal venous circulation.

Key Symptoms. Dizziness, profuse sweating. Burning and itching sensation of the skin, aggravated by scratching, washing, perspiration, sitting.

SKIN DISEASES. Pruritus, prurigo, herpes genitalis, erysipelas, urticaria.

Potency 6x is the best.


General Indications and Key Symptoms. Jaundice, haemorrhages in the skin, bloody sweat.

SKIN DISEASES. Erythema multiforme, purpura haemorrhagic, insect bites, boils, carbuncles.

Potency 6x is advisable.


Croton is the specific drug for eczema of the external genitals, especially for eczema of the scrotum.

The potency must be individualized according to the special conditions of the patient. As a rule potency 20 or 30 ought to be given. If the case should be refractory potency 6x should be tried, before giving any other drug.


General Indications. Convulsions, vomiting nausea.

Key Symptoms. Greatest exhaustion, weakness, bluish face.

Sensation of icy coldness. Colics of the bowels. Cold perspiration.

SKIN DISEASES. Carbuncle, gangrene, acne, eczema.

Potency 6x is the best.


General Indications and Key Symptoms. Catarrhal and rheumatic ailments, due to cold and damp weather, aggravated by rest and moist weather; better by movement. Painless enlargement of the lymphatic glands. Itching, tickling burning irritations of the skin.

SKIN DISEASES. Pruritus, prurigo, urticaria, herpes, warts.

Low potencies are advisable.


General Indications and Key Symptoms. The drug acts on the veins. Aggravation during night, on warm days, in dependent parts from standing and sitting. Better from walking.

Feeling as if one must walk and “could walk for ever”.

SKIN DISEASES. Alopecia, onychia, lupus vulgaris naevus pigmentosus.

Potency 6x is the best.


General Indications and Key Symptoms. Mental despondency and indecision; general weakness. Fatty patients, very fond of eating. Low vitality. Lymphatic, scrofulous and anaemic constitution. Aggravation by cold, light and during menstruation. Better by movement in fresh air.

SKIN DISEASES. Skin very dry with cracks, thick crusts, with sticky exudation smelling like decayed herring. Moist eczema behind the ears, on the hands; thickened nails. Eczema, impetigo, herpes, acne, psoriasis, pityriasis, lupus vulgaris.


General Indications and Key Symptoms. The drug acts on the nerve centres. Hair and nails loosen and fall off, without signs of inflammation.

SKIN DISEASES. Alopecia, angioneurotic oedema, anasarca, scarlet fever.


General Indications and Key Symptoms. Scrofulous patients, suppurations, increased perspiration, very sensitive to open air, particularly to cold, dry winds and draughts of air. All exudations smell offensively. Craving for condiments and sour salads.

Stinging, burning pains. Tendency to fissures and ulcers.

SKIN DISEASES. Intertrigo, hyperhidrosis, acne, impetigo, eczema, boils, erysipelas, urticaria, ulcers.

Low and high potencies are in use.


General Indications and Key Symptoms. The drug acts on catarrhal conditions in patients with low vitality, especially older patients. All secretions are thick, colloid. Itching, burning sensations of the skin.

SKIN DISEASES. Eczema at the junction of the hairline on the forehead, lupus, epithelioma, itching vesicles.


General Indications and Key Symptoms. The drug stimulates the sweat-glands. General weariness, vertigo, unable to do any work, bruised sensations in the muscles.

SKIN DISEASES. Psoriasis, eczema, pruritus, lupus erythematous.


General Indications and Key Symptoms. Catarrhal constitution. All secretions are viscous, greenish – yellowish, stringy, and tenacious. Burning, itching sensations. Aggravation by pressure, in hot weather, better in cold weather and towards night.

SKIN DISEASES. Psoriasis, impetigo contagiosa, lupus vulgaris.

Potencies 6x-12x are advisable.


General Indications and Key Symptoms. Chronic diseases, characterized by anaemia, weakness, lymphatic constitution, sticking, burning, itching pains, oedema of the upper eyelids, increased perspiration, pains in the back and attacks of fainting. Drying of all mucous membranes. Aggravation of all symptoms from motion, by coldness and at 3 a.m.

SKIN DISEASES. Pustulous, vesiculous eczema, acne, urticaria, intertrigo, chilblains. Favus, lichen.

Low, high and very high potencies can be given.


General Indications and Key Symptoms. Thirst, inflammation of the vascular and glandular organs. Chronic syphilis, gout, arteriosclerosis, ulcers.

SKIN DISEASES. Papulous, pustulous eczema, acne, ulcers of the legs, pemphigus.

Potencies 4x-6x.


General Indications and Key Symptoms. Disorganization of the blood, irritations of the mucous membranes and skin. Burning, itching, biting pains. Aggravation at night, from pressure of clothing, from friction. Better from scratching, in the open air. Bleeding, offensive smelling secretions.

SKIN DISEASES. Pustulous eczema, ulcers, intertrigo, pruritus, prurigo, gangrene (diabetic), cancer.

Potencies 6x-12x.


General Indications and Key Symptoms. Infectious, septic conditions. Hypersensibility to tight clothes, especially at the neck. Aggravation of all symptoms during the sleep, by warmth and slight touch. Bluish colour of the skin, congestion to the head.

SKIN DISEASES. Erysipelas, carbuncle, boils, gangrene, ulcers, purpura.

High potencies 30-200 are the best.


General Indications and Key Symptoms. Aggravation of all symptoms in bed warmth and by movement. Better by cold and water. Pains wander from below upwards; uric acid disposition.

SKIN DISEASES. Itching rashes, vesicles and pustules, especially on the forehead and in the face. Eczema, acne, lichen, carbuncle.

Low potencies are advisable.


General Indications and Key Symptoms. Lymphatic, asthenic patients, great irritability, pale, yellowish complexion. Flatulence. Hungry, but fullness after a few bites. Aggravation of all symptoms 4-6 p.m., in bed warmth in a warm room, better by movement. All troubles start at the right side.

SKIN DISEASES. Skin unclean, pale, yellowish. Vesicles and acne in the face, intertrigo, psoriasis, alopecia, boils, eczema.

Low and high potencies are in use.


General Indications and Key Symptoms. Both drugs act on neck, especially in gouty patients. Boring, violent pains. Aggravation by cold, better by scratching.

SKIN DISEASES. Pruritus, prurigo, psoriasis, pityriasis, lichen, eczema appearing instead of menstruation, painful cracks.

Potency 6x is the best.


General Indications and Key Symptoms. Salivation, profuse sweat without giving relief, aggravation during night.

SKIN DISEASES. Scabies, ulcus durum.

Potencies 4x-6x.


General Indications and Key Symptoms. Bad smelling breath, due to syphilitic affection of the mouth; thirst, increased perspiration.

SKIN DISEASES. Skin slack, withered, ulcers, condylomata.

Potencies 4x-6x.


General Indications and Key Symptoms. All kinds of rashes and affections of the mucous membranes. Bad smelling breath, tongue slack, profuse sweat during night, viscous, greasy, without giving any relief. Aggravation of all symptoms during night. Sensitive to cold air.

SKIN DISEASES. Itching, burning eczema, badly smelling secretions. Alopecia, herpes tonsurans, pruritus, herpes pemphigus, diseases of the nails, psoriasis.

Potencies 6x-30.


General Indications and Key Symptoms. Neuralgic pains, most violent itching. Aggravation by touch, movement, cold air and during night in bed: better in the open air.

SKIN DISEASES. Pale complexion. Itching over the whole body, vesicles on the head, thick scabs, corroding secretion. Pruritus, eczema, herpes and syphilitic eruptions.


General Indications and Key Symptoms. The Natrum salts act on the vegetative functions, the blood, nutrition. All Natrum patients are suffering from vertigo, headache, palpitation, faintness and weariness. Periodicity of all symptoms. Improvement in dry and warm weather. Aggravation in cool and wet weather.

SKIN DISEASES. Hyperhidrosis alopecia with headache, worse from talking, reading, lying down; better from pressure. Eczema with fissures, vesicles with oozing of a corrosive fluid. Pruritus, herpes with periodic fever. Favus, boils in the genital region or the neck near hair line. Urticaria with intense itching in the morning and late at night.

High potencies are advisable.


General Indications and Key Symptoms. Moist, creamy or golden yellow coating on the back of the tongue and soft palate, acid taste, sour stomach, sour smelling sweat. Mental anxiety. Aggravation during a thunderstorm, menstruation, in the afternoon and evening.

SKIN DISEASES. Intertrigo with sour smelling perspiration. Pruritus in the early life. Urticaria with chilliness and flashes of heat.

Potency 6x is the best.


General Indications and Key Symptoms. Hydrogenoid constitution. Aggravation of all symptoms from damp weather, from living in damp houses or places, from lying on the left side, from movement and in the evening. Better from being in the open air.

SKIN DISEASES. Pompholyx, impetigo contagiosa, pemphigus, sycosis.

Potencies 4x-6x.


General Indications and Key Symptoms. Mental irritability, excitement, depression, emaciation, physical weakness. Especially indicated in patients with dark complexion and elderly people. Antidotes mercury.

SKIN DISEASES. Acne, eczema about the mouth or nose, with splinter-like sensations, aggravated by touch. Carbuncle.

Potencies 6x-12x.


General Indications and Key Symptoms. Acts on the spinal cord and brain. The drug for brain workers with sedentary habits. Digestive disorders. Aggravation of all symptoms in the morning, after eating.

SKIN DISEASES. Acne, lichen, psoriasis.

Low, middle and high potencies are in use.


General Indications and Key Symptoms. Headaches, irritability, vertigo, weakness, nausea. Worse from passive motion. It acts on the sweat and oil glands of the skin; sensations of burning, itching, soreness; worse from pressure, scratching and in cold weather.

SKIN DISEASES. Hyperhidrosis, acne, chronic eczema (moist, crusted, dry or fissured), especially back of the ears or at the occiput. Psoriasis of the hands, when the skin is very sensitive.

Low potencies are advisable. 3x-6x.


General Indications and Key Symptoms. The drug stimulates the peripheral capillaries, then disarranges the blood and tissues and finally causes fatty degeneration in all tissues.

Haemorrhages. Mental and physical prostration, sleepiness.

Aggravation before midnight, during a thunderstorm, from lying on the left side or back.

SKIN DISEASES. Alopecia areata, urticaria, purpura, pemphigus, favus, herpes.

Potencies 6x-12x are the most frequently used.

In chronic cases a few doses of high potencies are advisable, 30-200.


General Indications and Key Symptoms. The drug acts on the glands, fibrous, mucous and cutaneous tissues. Scrofulous or syphilitic patients. Antidotes mercury and Kali iodide.

General weakness. Painful soreness and burning of the affected parts. Aggravation at night and from damp weather.

Better from lying down or going out of doors.

SKIN DISEASES. Psoriasis, boils, carbuncle.

Low potencies 3x-6x are advisable.


General Indications and Key Symptoms. Activation of all vital functions in psoric patients. Unhealthy skin, itching, crawling sensations. Aggravation by warmth of bed or exercise, in the open air. Better in the morning while at rest and indoors. All secretions have an offensive odour.

SKIN DISEASES. Chronic eczema in psoric patients. Scabies. Scrofuloderma, ulcers.

Only high potencies 30-200 are advisable. One dose every week.


General Indications and Key Symptoms. Women with blue eyes, bright hair, disorders of the menstruation, anaemia. Disposition to crying and weeping. All secretions thick, yellowish-green. Chilly, Thirstless. Aggravation by warmth and indoors, in the evening after meals. Better when moving in the open air.

SKIN DISEASES. Acne, eczema in children and younger adults.

Low and high potencies are in use.


General Indications and Key Symptoms. Action on the peripheral nerves. Aggravation from changes of temperature and weather; from scratching and in the evening.

SKIN DISEASES. Herpes zoster, pompholyx.

Potencies 3x-6x are the best.


General Indications and Key Symptoms. All symptoms are due to cold and wetness; restlessness. Aggravation by rest and damp, cold weather. Better by heat, movement, whilst beginning of movement aggravates.

Dry tongue.

SKIN DISEASES. Erythema multiforme, pruritus, erysipelas, urticaria, pemphigus, vesiculous and papulous eczema, herpes zoster, psoriasis. Bites of insects with serious itching pains. Boils and carbuncle in the early stage.

Potency 6x is the best.


General Indications and Key Symptoms. Acts on the genital organs, the urinary tract, the joints and the skin. Hypersensibility to music. Aggravation by warmth; better in the open air.

SKIN DISEASES. Fig warts, acne.

Potencies 2x or 3x.


General Indications and Key Symptoms. Antidotes mercury. Indicated in syphilitic and psoric patients. Deep seated pains, aggravated 5-7 p.m. and during the night, by change from warm to cold air.

SKIN DISEASES. Acne, alopecia prematura, onychia.

Potency 6x and high potencies are in use.

General Indications and Key Symptoms. Emaciation, debility, anxiety. Intolerance to external warmth and covering, Face pale. Excessive appetite and thirst.

SKIN DISEASES. Symmetrical gangrene, purpura, pemphigus. boils, carbuncles.

Wilhelm Karo
Wilhelm Karo MD, homeopath circa mid-20th century, author of the following books - Homeopathy in Women's Diseases; Diseases of the Male Genital Organs; Urinary and prostatic troubles - enlargement of the prostate; Rheumatism; Selected Help in Diseases of the Respiratory System, Chest, etc; Selected Help in Children's Diseases; Diseases of the skin.