One of the many conditions with which we have to contend medicinally is acne, but it may be cleared up if one will settle down to it as a problem to be solved. There was a time when I did not feel like looking an acne patient in the eye. That sort of atmosphere is not good for encouragement or discipline, either of patient or doctor. Patients feel it though they may not express it consciously.
They will slip away and the tendency is to let them slip. That again is not good for practice if one cares to cherish chronic work. I knew acne could be cured for one young man was cleared of it in two weeks with Carbo animalis on the familiar symptom “burning after shaving”. I have not had such a quick result since.
I had been practicing a long time before I could treat an acne patient with the homeopathic medicine. The concomitants seemed so scanty; the young people were so reticent; many of them so dumb as to what information was needed and why. Others were so sure that nothing else was wrong with them.
Then the outward aspects were so similar; what would help one would not do for another although both affections had appeared the same. And the attitude of the youngsters, as if to say, “Hurry up about it,” was not exactly seductive; and anyway, ones ischi tuberositi might be aching and the soul tempted to slip over to “next”.
Usually, though, homoeopathic work sharpens the conscience instead of dulls it. Mine as to acne was first really aroused by Dr. John Hutchinson of New York and Manchester. He wrote me he was having good results with acne. What a slam ! I was not, very. So I began to bear on and bore from within, without, laterally, bi-laterally, from above downward, crosswise and back again.
For one thing it was found that some acne eruptions would disappear at the seashore but blossom out again up state. Medorrhinum did its work accordingly. Others were associated with little disorders of adolescence, such as menstrual difficulties, sex curiosity, late hours, “hot dogs,” the soda fountain, vaccination, the aggravation of family dynamics and what not.
Emotional states especially were found to be the symptomatic lever that would aid most toward drying up these undesirable crops, the key to crop control. Exploring carefully the emotional states, disposition and temperament will enable one to welcome all the pimples, ridges, scars, et cetera, that care to come.
A word as to potency selection. The higher potencies, the 50M. or CM., especially the latter, produce better results in my hands than the lower ones. Vigorous young people do well with them without the preliminary cautious use of lower potencies that is often desirable with older people.
When one remedy will not cure, I give careful consideration to the Relationships of Boenninghausen and the sequences as given by Gibson Miller, Clarke and those of Bogers Synoptic Key, together with the symptomatic data of the patient. These are especially valuable when symptoms are too sparing.
But what about diet ? Of course we must not leave that out ! Well, I frown on some articles pertinent to the individual. Once in a while I play the typewriter and produce a list. But that is mostly to prop up the morale and offer a medium of self help.
Diet is to acne not more than two percent of the cure, if that much, that is, excepting the effects of poor quality of food and too much of it. The simillimum is ninety-eight percent of the cure atleast, unless gross errors are indulged in. In general, diet as an aggressive therapeutic measure in the long run does more harm than good. I see tissues, nervous and moral energy deteriorate under diet prescriptions.
The greatest benefit of dieting is the incidental reduction of over feeding. The most critical part of the diet problem is the commercial growing, preparing, preserving of the food supply and the ubiquitous bureaucratic regulations.
At the time this informal article was written a small group of enthusiasts were corresponding and from that correspondence I will quote from two writers. Dr. H. Farrington commented as follows :.
Acne is often a tough nut to crack. One reason is the paucity of symptoms. I think I have cured every case that gave me time enough but where the remedy was not clear I did a lot of “thinking” before I found it. Pulsatilla and Sulphur have cleared up the majority and once or twice Psorinum. That was because they were constitutionally indicated.
The effects of emotions on the skin are now being recognized by all schools. Even animals show reactions. Dr. H. C. Allen once had a large black dog. One Fourth of July the kids tied fire- crackers to its tail. It disappeared for three or four days; and returning, it had broken out with manage. Every year for four consecutive years, as soon as the shooting began, the dog ran away and returned with an eruption. I believe they had to shoot it.