The skin is the largest organ of the body weighing around 4 kgs and covering about 2 sq. meters for the average person. It has many functions including protection against the external environment, preserving a balanced internal environment by keeping us warm, preventing us from drying out and, providing the sensation of touch in all its varieties.
There are many skin diseases that can affect us; many of them are considered chronic diseases such as eczema, psoriasis, vitiligo, rosacea to mention a few. These diseases usually require professional help and are not suited to home treatment.
Homeopaths believe that these chronic skin conditions are expressions of an internal disturbance that the body’s own immune system is not able to deal with. When the body system is overwhelmed by a pathogen (whatever its form) it tends to try and isolate the disease expression away from the more important organs and typically affects the skin. As a result, a skin condition is usually a symptom of a disease and not the disease itself.
To treat the skin condition topically as a disease treatment in the homeopath’s view, is not addressing the disease itself but only treating a symptom. What can happen with such an approach is to drive the disease expression deeper into the organism potentially affected more important organs. The homeopathic approach is to attempt to treat the disease itself internally with homeopathic medicines to help the body heal itself. If successful, the disease expression is no longer evident and a skin condition as a symptom can heal itself.
Having said that there are many skin ailments that can be treated at home safely, usually ailments of the acute variety. As we go into summer we tend to be more active outdoors and spend more time exposing our skin to the external environment. As a result, we tend to suffer more from minor skin abrasions, insect bites, minor burns, and sunburn. Most of these ailments can be treated safely at home with homeopathy to help relieve any suffering.
Follow first aid to control bleeding. Where there is damage to skin and underlying structures (such as muscles and nerves), the wound must be cleaned thoroughly with running water and then can be cleaned with a Calendula/Hypericum tincture. The tincture helps promote wound healing to produce scar tissue and reduce pus.
Calendula – is used for torn and jagged looking flesh wounds which cannot be united with adhesive plaster.
Hamamelis – good for open, painful wounds and for traumatic inflammations.
Hypericum – for nerve involvement, crushed or smashed fingers and toes and for shooting pain
Arnica – for a wound with internal bleeding (bruising) where there is pain at the site, swelling, discoloration and local tenderness. It will also help alleviate the physical shock and trauma.
Insect bites and stings
Apis – for allergic reactions to stings that develop rapidly. Affected part becomes hot, swollen, puffed up, and sensitive to touch. Pains are burning, stinging, pricking like hot needles followed by burning itching. Extreme restlessness.
Cantharis – affected part is red and angry looking. Pains are raw, burning and itching and better for applying cold water.
Ledum – bites or stings that have punctured the skin (wasp, bee, mosquito). Affected part feels cold and feels better for cold applications. Swelling.
Lachesis – purple discoloration around the bite and seepage of dark blood.
Urtica – itching, raised, red blotches and crawling sensation which is worse for touch or contact with cool water, and better for warmth. Intense burning with itching.
the burn is deep (skin may look white or it may be black and charred), there may be no pain;
a superficial burn larger than a two dollar coin;
the burn involves an airway, hands, face or genitals; or
you are unsure about how serious the burn is.
Aconite – for the nervous and mental effects of shock usually with fear and anxiety. Complains that the pains are intolerable.
Arnica – for the physical effects of shock with restlessness. Says there is nothing wrong, does not want to be touched, wants to be left alone.
Urtica – first degree burns with persistent pain, stinging and burning with redness and a desire to rub.
Cantharis –for second and third degree burns and scalds with blistering. Burn feels raw and smarting.
Causticum – for second and third degree burns where old burns do not heal properly. Restlessness with pain.
Hepar Sulph – where the burn becomes infected with pus with red hot skin. Pain is described as pricking or splinter-like.
Sunburn can be soothed by applying Aloe vera gel, lotion, or fresh juice of the plant itself. Cool showers help temporarily, but may dry out the skin and if too cold will promote blistering. A better option is to use the homeopathic principle of Like cures Like by having a hot shower; as warm or hot as bearable. Blisters should not burst; if they do apply Calendula tincture to prevent infection.
Apis – burnt skin that stings and pricks intensely. Itching is worse at night. Skin is dry and hot and can alternate with gushes of perspiration. Sudden puffing up of affected areas with appearance of being filled with fluid.
Cantharis – rawness and smarting followed by inflammation with vesicles from sunburn. Pain is better for cold applications, lying quietly and is worse for touch.
Urtica – burnt skin without blistering with red hot blotches looking like hives. Intense burning and itching; must scratch but hurts the burnt skin. Worse for cold bathing and better for warmth.