Hair & Nails

Diseases of hair like hypertrichosis, Alopecia and canities (greying of hair) and diseases of nails like hypertropy of nail and onychomycosis and their homeopathic management by Wilhelm karo in his book Anatomy of physiology of the skin and its relationship to the general health….



IT is a condition, where we find an abnormal growth, or an increased growth of strong hair in such parts of the body, where usually only downy hair is found. Such an abnormal growth may be either on circumscribed spots, or it may spread over the whole body. It may be innate or acquired.

In nearly all these cases we find deficiency of the teeth. The treatment of these patients is very difficult.

Electrolysis, ointments containing Sulphate of Arsenic or Sulphate of Baryum, X-ray and radium are the best known methods, but the results are not satisfactory. All these methods require the greatest patience.

A general constitutional treatment must support the local treatment.


Whiteness of the hair is either innate or acquired. The innate form is rare; it appears in the form of spots without any tendency to enlargement.

The acquired whiteness is frequent. We speak of premature whiteness in cases concerning people under the age of thirty. Heredity plays its parts in such cases. In most of these cases the change of colour is permanent and slowly progressive. It usually begins on the head, about the temples, in rare cases in the beard.

Sudden whitening of the hair is often due to mental shock, such as severe fright, grief, etc. Disorder of the hormonal balance is responsible for the majority of cases. We never find whitening in people whose glands (testicles, thyroid, ovaries, pituitary glands) are working normally. All these patients keep the natural colour of their hair except for some patches. The treatment of patients suffering from premature whitening, or baldness, with extracts of thyroid gland gives remarkably good results. In a number of cases patients lost their white hair and grew new hair in the natural colour. This was where the whitening was due to exhausting feverish ailments (typhoid fever) extending over a long period. Natrum muriaticum 30x of Phosphorus 30x proved to be helpful.

In cases of senile whitening Thyroidin 30x is a good remedy.

The diet of all these patients is of importance. All kinds of meat are forbidden. Bircher Benner diet or a pure lacto- vegetarian diet should be taken.

The normal function of our glandular system is the decisive factor. These glands can make us either senile at the age of twenty, or youthful at the age of sixty.

The psychological treatment of all these patients must never be neglected. Worry, excitement, depressive cares and other psychical irritations damage the skin and hair.

The English painter Frithe at the age of ninety-two, when asked what kept him so exceptionally young, answered: “No worries and six cigars a day.” The latter are not recommended.

The power of psychical hygiene is so great, that no doctor can be successful without taking it into account.


Alopecia means the falling out of the hair. It may be general, or it may be restricted to one spot only. It may be a temporary or a permanent affection. We differentiate between an innate, a premature, a senile and an areal alopecia (Alopecia areata).

The innate alopecia is a very rare affection and nearly always temporary. It is due to a delayed development of the teeth and nails.

It is a permanent affection only in a few cases, often to a psoric constitution.

Regarding the premature alopecia we differentiate between an idiopathic and a symptomatic alopecia.

The idiopathic alopecia usually develops not earlier than in the thirtieth year of age. It is more frequent in men than in woman and it is probably inherited. The disease starts in different ways. In some cases the disease begins on the forehead, an acute angle is formed, which later spreads to the back, leaving a tuft of hair in the centre. This tuft very often disappears later on as well. Some detached, only loosely fixed, hairs are found on these bald spots. In other cases the falling out starts at the crown. The temples and the back of the head are usually not affected.

The symptomatic alopecia is either temporary or permanent, according to its cause. Skin-diseases such as lupus erythematous, syphilis, favus, may result in permanent baldness.

Other diseases such as eczema, erysipelas, psoriasis may bring about temporary baldness.

Alopecia often develops during reconvalescence after typhoid fever or infectious rashes like scarlet fever.

Heritage plays a great part in cases of premature idiopathic and symptomatic alopecia.

Baldness is more frequent amongst town dwellers than country people. It may be due to deficient ventilation of the head, caused by the wearing of felt-hats. Indeed, those parts of the head always being covered lose the hair, whilst the back of the head and the lateral parts keep the hair. Certainly to keep the head covered for many hours a day is unhealthy.

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.