SCARLATINA


Homeopathy treatment of Scarlatina, with indicated homeopathic remedies from the Diseases of the Skin by Frederick Myers Dearborn. …


(Scarlet fever)

Definition. An acute, infectious disease, characterized by a high febrile onset, with headache, vomiting and sore throat, followed by a generalized punctiform rash and later, desquamation.

Symptoms. Three days is the average period of incubation, but it may be from one day to six. The poison is less volatile and less rapidly dissipated than that of measles and hence may remain effective for a longer time in connection with articles which act as a medium of contagion. Prodromal symptoms lasting from twelve hours to two days (markedly different from measles) are most important and are especially abrupt, beginning with vomiting, headache or characteristic sore throat. Convulsions may be the first symptom in children. The pulse is rapid and bounding, the skin is dry and temperature varies from 102* to 105*F.; the tongue has a creamy white coating with the papillae reddened and exaggerated, causing the so-called strawberry tongue. In fact, all exposed mucous, surfaces are reddened, engorged and covered with deep red puncta. The lymphatic glands of the neck, those of the groin or in fact those of any locality, may be enlarged. The prodromal stage terminates with the appearance of the eruption, but fever persists and other symptoms do not improve at the time.

It is customary for the eruption to appear within the first twentyfour hours of the illness. It eruption spares the face, but develops about the neck and subclavicular region and rapidly spreads to the trunk and extremities, including the dorsal surfaces of the hands and feet, all being covered in the course of the second day. It might be described as a dull or dusky red, pin-head-sized, punctiform rash grouped about the hair-follicles, which later appears as a generalized diffused reddish blush. When it has covered the entire surface, it may be distinctly scarlet in color, somewhat like the appearance of a boiled lobster but the color varies in different individuals and at different periods. The punctate form often persists upon the limbs, whereas the diffused scarlet erythema is most marked upon the trunk. The eruption can be made to disappear in the early stages of the disease upon pressure and a whitish line, which persists for a short time, may be made upon the affected surface by drawing the finger nail over it. As was mentioned before, the fever and other constant symptoms remain with the eruptive state which terminates in from two to seven days. Its maximum development is from one to three days and it is during this time that albumin may be noticed in the urine together with other symptoms of acute nephritis. The eruption disappears leaving a yellowish pigmentation of the skin, in four to ten days after the climax has been reached, when the other symptoms vanish. In severe case as well as in some mild forms, minute hemorrhagic puncta and numerous miliary vesicles may be seen if careful search is made.

Desquamation occurs along with general convalescence and appears first upon the oldest lesions. In most cases it is governed by the severity of the preceding eruption but it may be out of all proportion to it. However, it is more pronounced and characteristic in scarlatina than in any of the other exanthemata. It may be superficial and furfuraceous or t may come off in lamellated layers, as in the shedding of the cast of a toe or finger or an entire hand or foot. The nails may be shed and rarely the hair may fall out. The entire process consumes from two to six weeks, or even longer.

Two other forms are described besides the common type. One is known as septic scarlatina, which will show parenchymatous inflammation of the tonsils and neighboring mucous membrane with tumefaction, submucous involvement and glandular enlargement. It may assume an ulcerative, suppurative and even gangrenous form, which is often fatal. Toxic scarlatina is the other type and is likewise severe. It has been likened to typhus, presenting convulsive symptoms with an ill-developed, dusky red, hemorrhagic or petechial eruption. It may be accompanied by albuminuria, meningitis, diarrhoea and coma and is usually followed with fatal consequences.

Complications and sequelae are numerous and only the more important will be mentioned. The eruption may show considerable elevation, small papules, vesicles, blebs, or purpuric lesions may be present, and rarely bullous, pustular and urticarial lesions have appeared. Nephritis of otitis, with meningitis of phlebitis, pneumonia, pericarditis, pleurisy, peritonitis, persistent catarrh, keratitis, chronic adenopathy and consequent malnutrition in any of its many forms, may be expected and may make of the patient a confirmed chronic invalid.

Frederick Dearborn
Dr Frederick Myers DEARBORN (1876-1960)
American homeopath, he directed several hospitals in New York.
Professor of dermatology.
Served as Lieut. Colonel during the 1st World War.
See his book online: American homeopathy in the world war