DISEASES of the skin are extremely numerous, varied and intractable. One meets people who have had eruptions for twenty, thirty and forty years. There are old men and women with ulcerated legs from which they have suffered for decades. Skin sufferers go from doctor to doctor, from specialist to specialist, from health resort to health resort, and frequently give up in the end.
I saw a joke in an American medical paper. A young doctor asked his experienced uncle: “Uncle, what speciality ought I to embark upon ?” “Become a skin specialist, my boy, a skin specialist. The work is not very appetizing but it pays well. Your patients will never disturb you in your sleep and they will not even disturb you at a meal, they will never die, and above all they will never get well.”.
If one looks through the standard volumes on gynaecology one finds that these special volumes are filled with practically nothing but operations. If one glances through the standard volumes on dermatology one finds that practically the only treatment described are outward treatments by means of poisonous ointments, washes and other applications.
The skilful homoeopath will rarely advise operations in womens diseases and will still more rarely prescribe poisonous disinfectants outwardly applied in the case of skin troubles. Most skin diseases are not diseases of the skin, but they are constitutional diseases which manifest themselves in the skin and try to produce an outlet for the diseased matter by way of the skin, the skin acting as a kind of safety valve.
It is dangerous to stop the safety valve of an overcharged boiler, it might explode. It is equally dangerous to stop the outlet of a disease which seeks an outlet through the skin by driving the disease back into the body by means of poisonous disinfectant ointments, washes, etc., which produce healing of the skin to the danger of the body as a whole.
The fact that a skin eruption is a healing process of nature is perfectly obvious. A child is down with measles, scarlet fever, or some other eruptive disorder and the experienced doctor, on seeing the little patient, will shake his head and say: “The child is in a dangerous condition because there is not proper eruption.
If on the other hand there is a vigorous eruption which alarms the inexperienced mother the doctor will feel happy and will tell the mother that the child is going on splendidly and that the danger is past. Many people in a dying condition are saved in the last moment by a critical sweat, by a healing sweat which restores them. Ignorant interference with skin disease drives the disease in. That was frequently pointed out by the great doctors of the past, among them Hahnemann himself.
In my experience the vast majority of skin diseases, practically all skin diseases, are not local but systemic. Hence they ought to be treated constitutionally. No skin disease can be cured by giving it a Latin name and prescribing sulphur ointment, mercury ointment etc. In many cases skin diseases are caused by constipation, maldigestion, faulty feeding, etc. Frequently bowel regulation and the adoption of a vegetarian diet suffice to cure a skin disease which has resisted the best attempts of the specialists.
In other instances skin diseases are an expression of some constitutional disorder. Men frequently suffer from skin disease when constipated, while women are plagued with blotches, pimples and other disorders if menstruation is insufficient, irregular or delayed. In many cases skin diseases are due to an old infection, to measles in childhood where there has been an insufficient eruption, to vaccinial poisoning, possibly decades old, to actual or inherited rheumatism, gout, tuberculosis or other disease.