Various modalities are available for the treatment of tinea infections in different systems of medicine. Bacillinum has been claimed in the treatment of tinea infections at different sites.1 To evaluate the efficacy of Bacillinum we used it, in different potencies, in different varieties of tinea.
KEY WORDS: Bacillinum, Tinea
Materials and methods
A total of 36 patients (29 males and 7 females) having tinea were selected. Itchy circular or irregular lesions which had well defined active borders consisting of scaling, papules and/or vesicles with hyperpigmentation, erythema and slight scaling in the centre presenting over trunk and extremities were described as tinea corporis. Similar lesions over the groin were labeled tinea cruris. The cases were evaluated by the itching and extent of lesions, first by the authors individually and then collectively. The percentage improvement in itching was compared with the initial intensity of the itching, taken as 100%. As itching is a subjective symptom and no objective method is available to assess it, assessment was subjective, by repeated questioning of the patients. The size, extent and shape of the lesions were assessed both subjectively and objectively, comparing with the original lesions.
The patients were between 11 and 65 years of age. Tinea corporis was diagnosed in 14, tinea cruris in 18, and both in 4 cases. Duration of the disease was between 1 and 6 months.
Bacillinum was given in high potencies, as it has been reported to act best in higher potency in tinea infections.1 Initially all the cases were started with the 1M potency in weekly2 doses except one case who was put on the 10M potency.
In patients who had not shown improvement one to three weeks after starting Bacillinum, potency was increased. Thus five patients were given the 10M potency, four the 50M potency and two the CM potency (Table 1). Follow-up was for 3 weeks to 5 months. Most of the cases were followed up for 1 to 3 months (Table 2).
All patients were advised to maintain local hygiene by keeping the part dry and clean. Only those who had not had local antifungals were included in the study. However, all patients who did not respond to Bacillinum were treated with local antifungals with complete amelioration of the signs and symptoms in one to three weeks. No other concurrent homoeopathic medicine was used with Bacillinum.
Improvement in the itching was noted in 22 cases. In 2 cases itching disappeared completely, in 6 it improved by 75%, in 12 it reduced to 50% and in 2 there was less than 50% relief. Improvement in both itching and lesions was observed in 8 cases only. In 3 cases lesions disappeared completely while in the remaining 5 cases lesions improved by 50%. During 6 months follow-up the 3 cases in remission showed recurrence, and 3 cases with 50% improvement showed aggravation of the lesions and itching. The remaining 2 cases remained static.
The present study was undertaken to verify Burnett’s claim that tinea is curable by its pathological similimum, i.e. Bacillinum in high potency administered internally and infrequently. The term ‘pathological similimum’ does not refer to any macroscopic or microscopic resemblance. This hypothesis of similimum was based on Burnett’s observation of a high incidence of tinea in tubercular families, in persons living together in closed, damp and dark rooms. He also recorded cures of tinea with Bacillinum. Since then Bacillinum has been widely used by homoeopaths in the treatment of tinea infections and is included in various materia medicas2 5 and Repertories.6–7
In our study, Bacillinum has not shown a promising result. The six patients who initially showed improvement deteriorated during follow-up. Some relief in itching and lesions can be attributed to the general hygienic measures advised to all the patients. Burnett’s hypothesis of using Bacillinum in tinea has not been verified and the similarity he claimed was probably due to high incidence of tinea in lower socio-economic groups having tuberculosis.
It is also possible that Burnett included cases that clinically simulated fungal infection but with different aetiology and probably spontaneous remission.
1 Burnett JC. Ringworm-its constitutional nature & cure. World Homoeopathic Links. New Delhi 1984, pp. 118-19.
2 Boericke W. Pocket Manual of Homoeopathic Materia Medico pp. 101-102. New Delhi: B. Jain 1983.
3 Hering C. The Guiding Symptoms of our Materia Medico vol. 10pp. 350-56. England: Gregg 1966.
4 Clarke JH. A Dictionary of Practical Materia Medico vol. 1 p. 237. England: Health Science Press 1962.
5 Allen HC. Key Notes and Characteristics with Comparisons of some of the leading Remedies of the Materia Medico pp. 296-98. New Delhi: B. Jain.
6 Clarke HC. The Prescriber p. 283. London: The Homoeopathic Publishing Company Ltd 1952.
7 Phatak SR. A Concise Repertory of Homoeopathic Medicines p. 107. Bombay: Homeopathic Medical Publishers 1985.
O. P. BHARDWAJ, DHMS, R. K. MANCHANDA, DHMS, BHMS, RAMJI GUPTA, MBBS, DVD, MD