Psoriasis is an autoimmune skin disease. It is a non- infectious and chronic condition. In this condition the cells in the epidermis of the skin multiply many times more than normal skin. It usually takes about a month for new cells to move from the lower layers of the skin to the surface. In psoriasis, this process takes only a few days, resulting in a build up of dead skin cells and formation of thick scales. The condition can have flare ups few times a year to once in a few years.
It is an inherited disease though it might be also seen in those without a family history.
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Sun light-overexposure or lack of minimum exposure
- cold climate
- general poor health
- Skin lesions: raised red patches, formation of pustules, cracking of skin and redness.
- Skin patches: dry, red and covered with silvery scales; may crack and become painful; usually found on the elbows, knees, trunk, scalp, hands and nails.
- Itching, and flaking of skin on itching or rubbing.
- Very thick skin on the soles and palms
- Joint pain and aches.
Lesions appear as raised red patches, and covered with heavy, dry, white or silvery scales. These are the dead skin cells which accumulate. There can be itching, burning sensations and pain. Psoriasis can occur on any part of the body, but the eruptions are most commonly seen on the elbow joints, knees, ankles. If the skin is scalier than usual, especially on the elbows and knees, it may be psoriasis.
- Do not pick at eruptions, or try to remove forcefully the scales. Picking at lesions can cause bleeding, infection, and a worsening of the psoriasis.
- Bathe in warm, not hot water, as hot water especially in showers can damage the skin. Use a very mild or non chemical cleanser.
- Pat your skin dry; rubbing can irritate it. Pat the skin dry with a soft towel, and avoid vigorous rubbing with rough cloth.
- Wear cotton clothing Cotton is less likely than other fabrics to irritate the skin or cause overheating.
- Moisturize the skin. Well moisturized skin will develop lesser patches. Moisturizing, especially after bathing, can relieve the dry skin and minimize the lesions. A natural oil is a very effective moisturizer for this dryness.
- For people who have family members suffering with this condition, moisturizing to prevent dryness can keep the skin healthy and prevent appearance of the lesions.
- Water is the most important part of the diet for treating dry skin. Drink about 7 - 8 glasses of water daily. Fresh fruits and almonds provide good nutrition to the skin and minimizing the dryness. Avoid oily and fried food. Restrict intake of coffee alcohol and since they can make the skin drier.
- Quit Smoking, as the condition can be aggravated by smoking. In many cases this can significantly clear the skin, and bring down the intensity of the psoriasis.
- Reduce Stress. Many people with psoriasis have flare-ups due to mental or emotional stress. While stress cannot be prevented, there are a number of healthy ways to reduce its effect on the body. Yoga, exercise, relaxation techniques, and pranayama can effectively reduce stress.
As psoriasis is an autoimmune disease, the immunity based Homeopathic treatment is very effective. It optimizes the defense mechanism of the body. While symptomatic relief is the key in short term treatment of psoriasis, the main aim of longer duration of treatment is curing the psoriasis.
The flaking and scaling of the psoriatic patches comes down first, and then the recurrence of the problem comes down as the skin in the area heals.
Where there is an underlying or associated problem like hypothyroidism, this is also treated alongside with the Homeopathic medicines bringing the condition under control. This leads to an effective recovery from the psoriasis.
Eczema is an inflammatory response of the skin, also known as dermatitis. There is a localized or widespread eruption on the skin with itching, and this can be complicated by secondary infections.
It is common in infants, children, and in young adults.
Swelling or bleeding of the part after scratching
- There are dry or oozing eruptions, which begin as small reddish eruptions or a patch with lot of itching.
- Most commonly seen in flexures or bend of the elbow, face and neck, wrists and ankles.
- Dryness of the skin
- Continuous intolerable itching, which may or may not be relieved by scratching
- Redness of the affected part
Types of eczema:
Atopic dermatitis-This is characterized by the typical symptoms of eczema, the dryness, redness, itching.
Contact dermatitis-This type of eczema is seen only when the skin comes into contact with some allergens like detergents, acids, clothing, nickel,perfume,fabrics,jewelry etc.
Childhood eczema-The child skin is very delicate and doesn’t provide a proper barrier for infections. This is because there is more loss of water from their skin and hence they are more prone to eczemas.
The main focus would be to keep the skin well hydrated and clean.
Drinking lots of fluids in the form of water, juices, buttermilk and tender coconut would help to remove the toxins and also keep the skin hydrated.
- Wash with a very mild soap and luke warm water. Do not rub the area vigorously; instead just remove the excess water on the surface.
- Olive oil is a boon to people with eczema. It moisturizes the skin and helps to retain the natural oils in the skin. It can be applied soon after taking a bath (when the pores are opened and the skin is soft). It can be used an additional 4 to 5 times through the day without any harm.
- Avoid using woolen, silk and leather clothes. Thin cotton clothes would be the perfect choice. In winters woolen clothes can be worn on top of the cotton cloth. The main focus would be to avoid any extra irritation to the skin. Avoid sun exposure.
- Other oils like sunflower, gingili oil and coconut oil can also be used as external application.
Eczema is curable by Homeopathy.
The acute condition is treated to bring down the inflammation of the skin. Itching is first relieved followed by decrease of the rashes.
As the condition has a tendency to recur, a deep study of the condition is done after which regular follow ups have to be done in order to cure the condition.
Infants and children-. It is commonly seen that when a steroidal application is used for the skin, and the eruptions disappear, the child develops a cold or a cough. When this is treated with strong medicines, the eruptions reappear. These children end up being on medication continuously either for the skin or the cough.
The Homeopathic medication is very effective for this condition, without having side effects, and avoiding the suppression of the symptoms.
ALLERGIC/ CONTACT DERMATITIS
Allergic contact dermatitis is an eczematous rash that develops after contact with an agent to which delayed or late reaction is developed in the form of hypersensitivity.
The most common allergens that precipitate this condition can be Nickel, Rubber, Lanolin and chemical Dyes.
A rash develops on the skin after it comes into contact with the allergens
This rash may occasionally spread outside the area of contact.
Itching is noticed at first and then the area involved becomes red, swollen and vesicular or with small eruptions.
Later the area becomes scaly and fissured.
The intensity and the speed of the reaction vary depending on the particular individual.
Examples of contact dermatitis:
- Rash developing after wearing steel studs, lips and buckles beneath them.
- Allergies to some perfumes and cosmetics due to the presence of lanolin in it.
- Rashes develop after using some clothes or dyes used in it.
- Artificial dyes can also cause reaction in some.
- Sometimes contact allergy arises only after the skin has been exposed to ultraviolet light. The rash is confined to sun exposed areas even though the allergen may have been in contact with covered areas. This is called photo contact dermatitis.
- Dermatitis due to a sunscreen chemical, affecting the top but not the under surface of the arm .
- Dermatitis of face, neck, arms and hands due to antiseptic in soap.
This allergic hypersensitivity reaction is very well treated with homeopathy. The immunity medication is very effective and can bring down the allergic reaction to the allergen. And in most cases the allergic tendency towards the allergen is reduced, so that even on exposure to the same allergen, the condition does not show up.
Acne is an inflammatory disease of the sebaceous glands of the skin and hair follicles, characterized by the presence on the face usually of small papules or nodules varying in size from a pin head to a pea.
They can appear on the face, cheeks, chin, neck, shoulders and back.
There are many pimple like or small boil like eruptions, which begin as bright red eruptions. There might be yellowish-white discoloration that is pus formation. After 3 to 10 days they might break open and a small amount of pus or blood might be discharged.
Scarring might be seen as a result of all this changes in many cases.
Typically many such small eruptions on the upper back may also be acne.
In youngsters especially teenagers, the most common cause is the hormonal changes that take place during puberty.
Women in their twenties and thirties can have acne due to irregular periods or disturbed cycles.
Digestive problems and a diet especially fat rich foods, meats, coffee etc can also be a cause of acne.
General measures :
- Keep the face non-oily by washing it mildly with luke-warm water.
- Wash the face with warm water frequently without using a soap.
- Popping and squeezing of the pimples should not be done as this can worsen the infection and result in increased scar formation. Avoid using scrubs, soaps and vigorous rubbing of the face.
- Avoid using cosmetics which can worsen the problem
- Avoid oily and spicy food, and reduce the meat, coffee and tea intake as these can aggravate the problem.
An internal medicine is required to eliminate this problem because external applications would only suppress the condition and worsen it over a period of time.
With Homeopathic treatment the acne comes down, and the scars heal with the continued treatment.
In cases with underlying hormonal imbalance or irregular menses, this condition is treated along with the acne, so that the main cause of the acne is removed; allowing the acne to heal faster.
Vitiligo is a common skin disorder also called as leucoderma in which there is focal failure of pigmentation due to destruction of melanocytes (cells associated with pigment formation).
White patches or spots (depigmentation) are first noticed on the skin.
The skin remains of normal texture, and there is usually no itching or dryness.
These patches are more obvious in sun-exposed areas, including the hands, feet, arms, legs face, and lips. Other common areas for white patches to appear are the armpits and groin and around the mouth, eyes, nostrils, and navel.
The patches may develop only in one area of the body; or it may appear only on one side of the body. But for most people who have vitiligo, depigmentation occurs on different parts of the body; generalised vitiligo, often similar on each side of the body.
The cause is unknown but it happens due to the immunological involvement.
A rash, sunburn, or other skin trauma at the site of vitiligo 2 to 3 months before depigmentation started; stress or physical illness.
In this condition while external therapies can show some improvement, the internal medication is very effective. The immunity based medication is also very effective in the treatment of this condition.
With treatment the vitiligo patches initially develop normally pigmented spots, and gradually the whole area develops normal skin color.
Any underlying conditions like thyroid disorders etc are simultaneously corrected.
Medicine is given along with a considerable amount of counselling and a frequent follow up is needed for this type of condition.
Urticaria is a condition in which there are raised red spots or eruptions of various size on the surface of the skin, often itchy, which come and go. It is usually an allergy to a drug or some food item. They are also known as Hives, wheals or nettlerash.
Some causes of urticaria are :
- Sensitivity to foods, example fish, prawns, crabs, milk, etc.
- Strong medication and some drugs.
- Systemic disorders like lupus erythematosus
- Physical causes like persistent cold and pressure.
- Exposure to pollen
The reason for the urticaria remains unknown in most patients with the disorder.
Urticaria is characterized by sudden, acute skin eruption with swelling, redness, intense itching and burning.
The eruptions may be single or multiple reddish eruptions, irregularly shaped or round, with clearly defined edges, and severe itching.
There is mild swelling.
They may be limited to one area like the arms or legs, or face; or be diffuse throughout the body.
They come on suddenly, stay for a few minutes to hours, and then automatically disappear.
Cool compresses or soaks to the area may reduce swelling and pain.
Avoid irritation of the area, and do not wear tight clothing which may trigger a new outbreak.
Avoid known allergens to prevent recurrence of hives.
Homoeopathic medicines are very effective in the treatment of the urticarial tendency. The treatment reduces the itching followed by the reduction of rashes, and the recurrent condition comes down, with reduced episodes of Urticaria.
While identifying the allergen can be useful, avoiding these allergens may not always be possible.
Hair loss can affect people of any age. The condition of the hair is generally an indicator of the general health. While hair loss is connected to external factors like hard or soft water, shampoo used, oils used, dust and pollution, the major problem is more internal, and is associated with diseases and the general state of nutrition.
Normal hair growth-
Hair goes through a growth phase, a resting phase after which it is shed. When hair is shed, new hair from the same follicle replaces it and the growing cycle starts again.
About 90 percent of the hair on a person's scalp is growing at any one time, and this phase lasts between two and six years. Ten percent of the hair is in a resting phase that lasts two to three months. At the end of its resting stage, the hair is shed. Most hair shedding is due to the normal hair cycle, and losing up to 50 hairs per day need not be a cause for alarm.
The medical term for hair loss is alopecia. In certain conditions, the hair is shed from the root, and the follicle is destroyed and can no longer grow, leading to baldness or alopecia.
This is common in men, and is called the male pattern balding and can start in the teens, twenties or thirties. The hair loss is mainly around the temples and the crown. A history of androgenetic alopecia on either side of the family increases the risk of balding. Heredity also affects the age at which one begins to lose hair and the developmental speed, pattern and extent of the baldness. Women with this trait develop thinning of hair, but do not become completely bald. In the initial stages, homeopathic treatment is effective to prevent the progress of the condition.
Alopecia areata - In this type of hair loss, hair usually falls out, resulting in totally smooth, round patches about the size of a coin or larger. This can appear in the scalp, beard and chest hair areas. This is an autoimmune condition, and can be associated with a thyroid disorder and is very effectively treated with homeopathic medicines.
Causes of hair loss
- Poor nutrition, sudden change in diet, a weight loss diet, or a low protein diet can affect the nutrition to the hair. The body will save protein by shifting growing hair into the resting phase. Massive hair shedding can occur two to three months after a crash diet. Correcting the diet can control this within a few weeks.
- Recent high fever, acute illness or surgery. Hair growth is less after this.
- Anemia, especially iron deficiency anemia, can cause hair loss, and is a common cause in young women, and in women with heavy menstrual flow. Adequate supplementation of iron, and an iron rich diet treats this problem; severe anemia needs treatment.
- Thyroid disorders can cause hair loss. Both an over-active thyroid and an under-active thyroid can cause hair loss. Hair loss associated with thyroid disease can be reversed with proper Homeopathic treatment.
- Hormonal imbalance and menstrual disorders can cause hair fall in women. Treating the underlying condition can control the hair fall. During menopause many women lose significant amounts of hair. After childbirth a woman generally has hair fall, but resolves completely in most cases.
- Diseases of the scalp like fungal infection (Ringworm) of the scalp, psoriasis etc can also cause hair fall. Severe dandruff and some strong anti dandruff shampoos can damage the hair. Homeopathy has very good treatment for dandruff and scalp psoriasis.
- Too frequent washing of the hair and strong shampoos can also cause hair loss.
- Chemical treatments on their hair, including dyes, tints, bleaches, straighteners and permanent waves do not generally cause hair loss. The hair can become weak and break if any of these chemicals are used too often.
- Certain medical treatments with strong drugs can cause hair loss.
- Hereditary thinning or balding - Hereditary balding or thinning is the most common cause of hair loss. The tendency can be inherited from either the mother's or father's side of the family.
- Smoking can cause and increase hair fall, and speed up the process of hereditary male balding.
- Stress is also a cause for hair fall. Any increase in mental or emotional stress can cause increase in hair fall.
Care for the Hair-
- Avoid using hot water to wash the hair, and use warm water instead.
- Do not comb the hair when it is wet.
- When there is dandruff, this needs to be primarily treated, as severe dandruff is itself a cause for hair loss.
- Oil regularly with almond or olive oil for dryness of scalp, massage on to the scalp, leave overnight and wash.
- Use a mild shampoo with natural or herbal ingredients.
- Eat 2-3 almonds every morning, this is very rich in vitamin E and is very nutritious for the hair.
- Avoid repeated chemical or heat treatments to the hair.
Hair fall associated with chronic illness, or hormonal imbalance corrects itself with the treatment of the underlying condition. In such cases, the underlying condition has to diagnosed and treated. When it is due to acute illness or fever, generally it subsides on its own, and the hair growth normalizes.
In many cases of hair loss, adequate supplementation of iron and vitamins needs to be done to improve the hair growth. Homeopathic treatment is very good for treating hair loss due to the various causes. The causes of the hair fall, as in the underlying chronic conditions are simultaneously treated.
Dandruff is basically flaking of the scalp due to the dryness of skin. Severe and long term dandruff needs treatment since it can cause hair loss.
There are flakes seen which might be like white powder or large flakes which are shed or removed.
The flakes may be in the form of crusts which stick to the scalp with a slight yellowish tinge.
Itching of the scalp; this is increased in cases with secondary infection.
Dandruff is seasonal. It is more severe during the winter and mildest during summer. The causes of dandruff include:
- Oily scalp or very dry scalp.
- Secondary infection.
- Excessive use of shampoos, hairsprays, hair curlers and gels.
- Improper use of hair coloring products..
- Stress can worsen this problem
Do’s and don’ts:
- For mild dandruff, oil the scalp twice a week to combat the dryness
- Use a mild shampoo, preferably a herbal shampoo.
- For severe dandruff, do not oil, and use anti dandruff shampoo max twice a week.
- Avoid using a conditioner.
Remedies at home:
- A head bath twice in a week is enough to keep the head clean. Frequent head baths lead to dryness of scalp which would then aggravate the condition.
- Oil should be applied few hours before taking bath so as to maintain the hygiene of the hair thus reducing the risk of dandruff. Avoid oiling if the problem is severe.
Remedies are given as an oral medicine for such conditions and affects are seen within few months, because only external application would just control it and there would always be a recurrence so internally medicines should act. Homoeopathy cures dandruff problems simultaneously treating and preventing hair fall.
Only external treatment would not be of any help since the underlying cause should be detected and treated.