The etiology of eczema as given by many authors. One author states that the causes of the diseases may be various, but that it is neither hereditary nor contagious, although some predisposed to the disease. Again it is believed to be the product of irritation from within or without or a combination of those . The disease may be the expression of some constitutional disturbance or the result of local irritation.
The constitutional or predisposing causes are albuminuria, anaemia, diabetes, gastro-intestinal indigestion, the rheumatic or gouty diathesis and toxemia. Excessive diet as well as improper foods will produce the disease. Chronic constipation, a torpid state of the liver, imperfect elimination, a defective and retarded circulation and unhygienic conditions of life may lead to the development of eczema. In some instances, nervous debility or derangements of the cerebro-spinal nervous system may lead to the disease. Occasionally it follows the eruptive diseases. It not infrequently attends or follows the menopause, or it may be dependent upon a defective or irregular menstruation.
The local or exciting causes. The skin of some individuals is susceptible to local irritation, especially to atmospheric changes, such as high winds and dust, sudden changes from a hot to a cold atmosphere. The sudden checking of prescription, the friction of irritating under-clothing or the irritation of the too frequent bath with soap and water, or the entire neglect of the same will cause the disease. Those who by virtue of their occupation must necessarily get wet and dry or hot and cold suddenly and repeatedly several times a day are prone to an attack.
The constant scratching of the skin will produce eczema and is always a perpetuating factor. Eczema may follow other eruptive diseases such as dermatitis, erythema, herpes, psoriasis, the paralytic diseases, urticaria or the various traumatic affections. The disease occurs at any age, in all seasons of the year, in all countries, under all conditions of life and in both sexes. One author says it causes are direct irritation of the skin by too high a temperature, hot baths, bakers itch, the application of wet bandages, the rubbing in of mercurial salves or croton oil and by various other irritating substances.
He further says, in many cases we cannot trace it to any cause. Another says dyspepsia, mal assimilation, gout and rheumatism, occupations such as blacksmith, grocers, bakers, washerwomen and workers in lime are predisposing causes. Artificial causes are mercury, croton tig, cantharides. rhus ven and rhus tox. Another states, it is not uncommon to find a reflex neurotic eczema associated with an adherent prepuce.
The same author continues the idea that vaccination causes eczema was widely accepted by both physician and laymen at the beginning of this century, and doubtless has some apparent facts to support it; he further says, this idea, is easily explained by the theory of latent diseases and it is possible that when the disease follows upon vaccinations, a close examination of the child would probably reveal plenty of evidence pointing to an eczematous tendency, either from the childs history, or symptoms prior to the operation or from the history of the parents, and the vaccination had simply aroused this latent disease into activity, but had not caused it.
It is not possible that all cases are due to this last named latent disease or psora as Dr. G.P. Waring of Chicago found in the history of the case given in the Medical Advocate, Vol. 38. No.2, 1899, in which instance after a thorough examination and research he found to be due to inherited psora and required the antipsoric remedy which restored the lady to health.
It seems quite proper to give here a few clinical observations to verify more positively the cause as that of latent disease, psora, or if you so choose, a combination of one or more of the chronic miasms, but my personal observations have always pointed to psora.
Case I. A male child one year of age had infantile eczema, covering head and face with leather- like crusts and scabs, under which pus formed, matting the hair. This cause had resisted all efforts of many physicians who used ointments, cleanliness, regulated diets,m etc., without any appreciable effect. Mezereum much improved. Calcarea Carb. completed cure.
Case II. A male-child two years old had eczema from birth. The parents had exhausted their own skill and that of many Physicians in their efforts to cure. Unless the childs hands and face were protected, he was constantly digging into the sores, thus keeping his hands and face constantly stained with blood. Arum Triph cured the case in a few weeks.
Case III. A male child of sixteen months, light complexioned, large head, and developing Rachitis, had a very persistent eczema involving the face only, sweating much about head and neck Calcarea Carb. cured both the Rachitis and the eczema.
Case IV. A male child of five months, infantile eczema starting back of ears and covering face, exuding a honey sticky- like fluid. Graphites 30x was prescribed. Improvement was slow, and the parents after ten days demanded local applications, which was refused, explaining to them the danger following such treatment, also stating my personal desire to avoid becoming complicated in any way with what seemed to me a criminal procedure. Another physician was quickly called, the eczema cured as they believed in two weeks time, but the child was buried the following week. Cause of death was given Meningitis. Oh horror of all horrors.
In Hahnemanns Chronic Diseases, page 101 he says:
” For, first of all, no cutaneous eruption, of whatever kind it may be, ought to be expelled through external means by any physician who wishes to act conscientiously and rationally. The human skin does not evolve of itself, without the co-operation of the rest of the living whole any eruption, nor does it become sick in any way without being induced and compelled to it by the general diseased state by the lack of normality in the whole organism.
In every case there is at the bottom a disorderly state of the whole living organism, which state must first be considered, and therefore the eruption is only to be removed by internal healing and curative remedies, which change the state of the whole; then, also, the eruption which is based on the internal disease, will be cured and healed of itself, without the help of any external remedy, and frequently more quickly than it could be done by external remedies”.
From the above, for which careful research and operation would demonstrate the absolute and almost infallibility of its correctness, it would hardly seem possible that the etiology of eczema as given by most all text books had any more to do with the cause of eczema than the match, the fuse or the electric spark that sets off the charge of nitroglycerine, or the magazine, has to do with the cause of the power and the destruction that follows the explosion.
It is simply the means of exciting and bringing into action the latent powers that already existed in the explosive; hence the etiology as it is given in out text books as a cause of eczema, when it is and should be stated simply and only as a contributing means of exciting into action the monster psora which already existed in the system, has caused and will yet cause untold agony, suffering and infantile mortality, until by some means, as yet unknown, this error can be corrected.
“Of times truth lies close beside us and we see it not,”
We have many practitioners who have received their legal rights to practice from our various Homoeopathic colleges who, by denying, or their failure to comprehend, have robbed themselves and their patients of the benefits of the golden, wholesome and life saving truths and doctrines handed down to us after unceasing meditation, research, careful observations and most accurate experiments through the medium of our beloved Samuel Hahnemann.