Constitutional Diseases

Constitutional Diseases like eczema, dermatitis, shingles( herpes), psoriasis, urticaria, icththyosis and warts have been discussed in respect to their pathology, cause, homeopathic treatment with diet and general management by wilhelm karo….



ECZEMA is a superficial, inflammatory, non-contagious skin disease. It is the most frequent and important of all skin affections. It is most common amongst children, 30 per cent. of all cases concern children. Generally speaking, eczema is more frequent in men than it is among women.

Eczema usually develops gradually in a typical way. The different forms of development are sometimes found in one and the same patient, combined as vesicles, pustules, crusts, etc.

The typical course of an eczema is as follows. It begins with the symptoms of an acute inflammatory redness of the skin, accompanied often by the intolerable itching and burning, especially in the folds of the skin. Some cases are accompanied by high temperature, especially when the eczema is located in the face. OEdema is very often present. These cases resemble erysipelas and the different diagnosis might be difficult in some cases. The right treatment usually cures the disease right away. But where treatment is unsuccessful the chronic form develops; characterized by thickening of the skin, infiltration and the formation of scabs or of a moist surface. This period may last long.

The second period of eczema is characterized by small red papules either in small patches or diffused over the cheeks or hands, or any other part of the body, accompanied by intense itching and burning. Nothing can restrain the patient from scratching the affected parts, which become a mass of blood, pus and scabs.

The third period of eczema is characterized by the formation of vesicles, containing a yellowish liquid. The vesicles burst either spontaneously or by scratching, forming a raw moist surface, from which a colourless discharge oozes, which, when it dries, forms yellowish crusts. These crusts are only slightly attached to the skin. Moistness is the characteristic symptom of this period.

When the liquid discharge becomes infected, as if often does, the so-called pustular eczema develops, characterized by large, thick, yellowish scabs and crusts, very easily loosening and forming again, thus making the disease chronic. In chronic cases the most different changes occur, such as warty developments, cracks and ulcers of the skin. Any part of the body is liable to become affected. The face is most frequently affected in children, the hands, abdomen and extremities in adults. So is the region of the genital organs, especially the scrotum.

What is the cause of eczema?

We must differentiate between local and constitutional causes. Regarding the constitutional causes I refer to my statements in the first chapter. I repeat that accumulation of toxic slags is the cause of nearly all skin troubles. A healthy body, which means freedom from poisonous slags, has a healthy skin and never gets an eczema or any other skin trouble.

On the other hand patients born with a psoric or scrofulous inheritance have usually a very weak and delicate skin. The slightest internal or external irritation in such cases may result in the development of a chronic skin disease like eczema or dermatitis.

As to external causes, the application of irritating or corroding medicaments, exposure to intensive sunrays or hot fires, burning or freezing friction by too tight clothes, etc., may cause an attack.

Treatment. I will not deal with the treatment of cases due to external causes, because these cases are better termed dermatitis. That means, eczema is a condition due to disturbance of the chemical or metabolic balance of the body.

The rational treatment of eczema must be dietetic and homoeopathic, whilst the local treatment should be restricted to some alleviating measures.

I. The dietetic treatment must be adapted to the constitution of the patient. That means, the diet for a weakened, emaciated patient must be quite different from that given to a robust and vigorous patient. Meat is forbidden for all patients. Generally speaking, a lacto-vegetarian diet with an abundance of fresh fruits and salads, is the ideal diet for anaemic, psoric patients. Uncooked food according to Bircher Benner is the diet for plethoric and vigorous patients.

When treating chronic cases I usually start the dietetic treatment with fruit-fasting days must be interposed between days of real vegetarian diet. The following scheme will be instructive:

Sunday: Fruit-fasting day.

(a) Breakfast: 1 glass of fruit juice, 4 ozs. various fresh fruits and nuts.

(b) Lunch: 1-2 glasses of fruit juice, 6 ozs. fresh fruits and nuts.

Wilhelm Karo
Wilhelm Karo MD, homeopath circa mid-20th century, author of the following books - Homeopathy in Women's Diseases; Diseases of the Male Genital Organs; Urinary and prostatic troubles - enlargement of the prostate; Rheumatism; Selected Help in Diseases of the Respiratory System, Chest, etc; Selected Help in Children's Diseases; Diseases of the skin.