Treat Skin Problems from the Inside Out!

You can't slap cortisone on eczema (or any rash) without the risk of trading your skin eruption for a more serious internal disease, such as asthma, migraines, irritable bowel syndrome or even seizures. That may be surprising news to dermatologists, but homeopathic physicians have long observed the negative results of chemically suppressing skin rashes.

A skin eruption shows that the defence system is fighting back and is doing a pretty good job. After all, it's thrown the problem to the level of skin, far away from important organs (lungs, heart, brain) and almost out of the body. Sure, it looks awful. It might itch like crazy and the neighbours stare at you when you take your child out for a stroll with a patch of eczema showing!' The body has not resolved the problem entirely, but it has protected itself. Rushing in with salves and ointments and interfering with an "almost successful" attempt to get better only drives the disturbance inwards to a deeper, more dangerous level.

Homeopathy views skin diseases like eczema, psoriasis and warts as expressions of an underlying disturbance in the body's uilt-in regulatory mechanism, or "vital force." Homeopaths have observed the relationship between eczema and asthma for a long time. As the eczema disappears, the asthma comes. If eczema is suppressed artificially with creams and ointments, asthma appears rapidly and severely. A better method is to use medicines made from substances that actually cause symptoms in large doses, but in micro-doses stimulate the body's own defences to throw off the disease.

By using an internal medicine, homeopathy treats an external eruption!

Treating asthma successfully is commonplace in homeopathic practice (especially in children). However, on the way towards cure, the previously "inward-driven" eczema may reappear. This illustrates what's known as the "direction of cure." Understanding the principles of suppression and the direction of cure is fundamental to the practice Of homeopathy, yet the danger of suppression is perhaps the most difficult concept to accept as a conventional medical doctor.

Where'd They Go?

Ordinarily, the disappearance of symptoms is considered good, conclusive treatment by orthodox medical standards, whereas homeopaths always ask, "Where have the symptoms gone?"

From a homeopathic perspective, all of the patient's symptoms are interconnected. If a person appears with eczema, headaches, insomnia and constipation, the homeopathic practitioner tries to find the single remedy. We "treat the person, not the disease."

Severe or longstanding skin disorders often require the expertise of a professional homeopath, yet there are some that you can treat at home with success.

Hives are usually characterized by raised, red bumps that are extremely itchy. Try an experiment. Apply a warm wet cloth to the hives and then a cold cloth. If the hives are made worse with heat and better with cold, you can take homeopathic Apis mellifica. If the converse is true try Urtica urens. Keep in mind that recurrent or severe hives with generalized swelling require professional attention.

Warts can take on a wide variety of appearances in many different locations of the body. Homeopathic Causticum treats warts that are fleshy and bleed easily. They typically appear on the fingertips or face, around the eyes or on the nose. Soft warts with an irregular shape and splinter-like pains may benefit from homeopathic Nitric acid. They appear predominantly on the lips and genitals.

Homeopathic Thuja is one of the best-known wart remedies. It can treat warts that appear anywhere on the body, but predominantly in the anal and genital regions. Thuja warts can be large, bleed easily and have a cauliflower-like appearance, but Thuja can also treat a flat plantar wart. Antimonium crudum is another good plantar wart remedy.

Cold sores, genital herpes and shingles are all treatable with homeopathy. The appearance of the herpes outbreak and the factors that modify it will determine the choice of remedy. For example, homeopathic Rhus tox is indicated for small, inflamed blisters filled with yellowish watery fluid. These blisters are intensely itchy and burning.

Homeopathic Arsenicum is indicated when the burning sensation of the blisters is ,made better by applying heat. Herpes blisters that are painfully sensitive to touch and cold applications may respond to homeopathic Hepar sulph. When they appear on the lips like pearls and are filled with clear liquid, the remedy Natrum muriaticum is indicated. For best results, give the remedy at the first signs of eruption and repeat every four hours.

For homeopaths, there is no mystery about the connection between internal diseases and skin problems. To really cure, avoid suppression. Treat from the inside out.

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By Stephen Malthouse, MD and Elizabeth Chapman, ND

Elizabeth Chapman and Stephen Malthouse practise classical homeopathy together in Victoria, BC.

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