DISEASES OF THE SKIN AND SCALP
Compiled and Edited by Ivor Hughes
Abscesses � Acne � Alopecia � Baldness � Boils � Carbuncles � Dandruff � Dermatitis � Eczema � Erysipelas � Erythema � Ichthyosis Impetigo � Lupus � Nettle-rash (Urticaria) � Psoriasis � Ringworm � Seborrhoea � Shingles � Sycosis.
The skin, covering the whole of the body as it does, is a most marvelous and intricate piece of bodily mechanism designed by Nature for many purposes, the chief of which being the protection of the inner organism, the regulation of body temperature, and the elimination of cell-waste and systemic refuse. It must be pointed out that the skin is not a thing apart, as it were ; it is part of, and bound up intimately with, the whole organism, and for its healthy and efficient functioning depends entirely upon the way the rest of the organism as a whole is acting.
When we realise that the skin is directly connected with, and very intimately bound up with, the working of the rest of the organism, we can begin to understand something of the origination of skin diseases. We see that these diseases, far from being chance affairs, having nothing whatever to do with the body as a whole, are directly connected with it, and are indeed the outcome of its malfunctioning. Through the skin large quantities of toxic matter can be easily eliminated, owing to the enormous skin surface, and it is in this way that most of the skin diseases we are acquainted with originate. They are merely attempts on the part of Nature to throw off systemic poisons and bodily refuse which cannot be eliminated in any other convenient way.
For instance, one of the greatest causes of skin diseases is constipation. If the bowels are not acting properly, systemic refuse is not eliminated as quickly as it might be, the blood becomes surcharged with toxic matter, and the skin is used for the purpose of getting rid of the excess product. Especially is this so if the skin, either through unhygienic habits of living or other causes, is itself in a devitalised condition, such a state of affairs leading more quickly than any other to the setting up of that form of vicarious elimination known as " diseases of the skin." Then, again, the skin is often utilised for the purpose of eliminating drugs, especially those of metallic origin, which have been stored up in the system as a result of former medical treatment of diseases of various kinds. Many cases of skin disease, especially dermatitis, originate in this way.
So that all in all, we can see that the skin is the great gateway through which Nature seeks to throw off the waste materials and poisons collected in the system through many causes, wrong feeding, unhygienic living, previous drug treatment, etc., etc. Thus do skin diseases originate, and to get rid of them what we have to do is to help on the eliminative process already set in operation by Nature, through the medium of the disease, and so literally help the disease right out of the system ! That, in brief, is the secret underlying all natural treatment for skin diseases.
To the medical profession skin diseases are just things that happen to the individual without any reference to his internal condition and mode of living generally ; and that is precisely why these diseases, when treated in orthodox fashion, never respond properly to treatment. The disease is treated purely from the local point of view, and not from the systemic. To attempt to cure a skin disease such as acne, for instance (which is entirely the result of wrong feeding plus chronic constipation), by the application of external ointments and salves is the height of folly and ignorance. The disease can only be overcome by a thorough course of systemic cleansing, in which proper dieting plays a most important part. Yet that is how the medical profession goes on. No wonder skin diseases continue to baffle it, despite all the elaborate and painstaking efforts it makes to cure them !
If treated properly, diseases of the skin disappear, leaving the sufferer in far better general health than before, because of the great lessening of the total amount of toxic matter present in his system, and because of the rejuvenation of the bodily mechanism as a whole, resulting from the treatment; but treated along orthodox medical lines, the disease, if it disappear at all as a result of the treatment, does so only because the toxins and impurities which the system was trying to throw off through the medium of the disease have been thrust back into the blood-stream again, to cause further trouble later on. In short, the orthodox treatment for skin diseases by means of ointments, salves, etc., does not allow the toxic matter at the root of the trouble to be eliminated, as a real cure demands; it merely suppresses the disease, that is all. And if the reader can see this clearly, then the fundamental difference between the natural treatment for skin diseases (about to be described) and that usually given by the medical profession for the same diseases will be recognised in all its full significant relationship to the future life and health of the individual sufferer. (The same remarks regarding suppressive treatment already applied to the ointments and salves prescribed by the medical fraternity for skin diseases can also be applied in full to such medical methods as X-ray treatment, radium therapy, and all other intensive forms of light treatment, other than artificial sunlight, used in the orthodox treatment of skin diseases. They all suppress the disease; they never cure !)
Having unburdened ourselves of the foregoing preliminary remarks, we can now go on to the outlining of the natural treatment for those forms of skin disease most prevalent in our midst to-day, at the same time assuring the sufferer that by such treatment not only can his disease be really cured (in the great majority of cases), but his whole general health can be reorganised.
Acne.� There are half a dozen or more varieties of this form of skin disease, all of them concerned with the sebaceous glands, or glands connected with the hair follicles (not the sweat glands). There is one form of acne in which there is an oily or greasy condition of the scalp, which extends also to the forehead and face; another in which there is dandruff and loss of hair, with crusts and scales on the nose and cheeks ; another in which there are hard and horny masses on the face (this being the form in which it occurs in the aged). Then there is a form which comes on the face of children, in which there are usually a few lumps containing a kind of cheesy material; whilst the wens and tumours on the face and scalp of grown people also belong to the acne class of skin disease. The most common form of acne is that known as " blackheads," in which the nose, face, and forehead are covered with black points or spots. Whatever the form acne takes in any individual case, the cause is always wrong feeding habits plus chronic constipation, the waste matter the bowels should have thrown off being left behind in the system and vicariously eliminated as best the system can through the medium of the sebaceous glands, as acne.
Treatment. � To try to get rid of acne by the administration of salves or ointments is useless. The treatment is mainly dietetic, although local measures, about to be described, can also be used with good effect. To begin with, the sufferer should go on to the all-fruit diet given in the Appendix for from five to seven or ten days, according to the severity of the condition. Then the regular weekly diet given in the Appendix should be adopted. Further shorter periods on the all-fruit diet (of, say, three days' duration) will be necessary in most cases, at monthly intervals, until the skin condition has quite normalised itself. The warm-water enema should be used nightly to cleanse the bowels for the first week of the treatment, and the general rules for the eradication of constipation should be put into effect. Hot Epsom-salts baths two or three times a week will be extremely helpful in all cases of acne.
As regards purely local treatment, hot fomentations should be applied to open up the pores, and waste matter squeezed out. Then rinse with cold water. Exposure of the whole body to sun and air, sun and air baths, is also a very good thing; whilst the morning dry friction and cold sponge, as well as the breathing and physical exercises given in the Appendix, should not be omitted from the treatment. Strict attention to the future dietary is essential to recovery ; and sugary, starchy, protein and fatty foods must all have a very watchful eye kept on them. Very little meat should be eaten ; no sugar; no strong tea or coffee ; no condiments, pickles, sauces, etc. Fresh air and outdoor exercise are two factors in the treatment which must never be overlooked.
Alopecia.� Alopecia is a condition in which the hair falls out in patches, and it may occur at any period of life from infancy to old age. It is due to an affection of the hair follicles and of the sebaceous glands, but its actual cause may be very hard to locate in each individual case. Defective nutrition, due to the continual eating of demineralised and devitalised foods over a period of many years, may be the cause in many cases, whilst poor general health and/or prolonged emotional and mental disturbances may be the cause in others. Again, infectious fevers treated along orthodox lines sometimes result in alopecia, and a general toxemic condition due to many and varied causes may often lead to the development of the trouble.
Treatment. � In all cases of alopecia the general health-level of the sufferer must be improved and the skin condition toned up. These are the first essentials to recovery. A few days on the all-fruit diet, followed by the full weekly diet given in the Appendix (with the use of the enema nightly for the first few days), would be the best way to begin the treatment. Further short periods on all-fruit should be taken from time to time. The hot Epsom-salts bath once or twice a week is most advisable; and the morning friction and sponge, as well as the breathing and physical exercises given in the Appendix, must be gone through daily.
As regards local treatment, the whole scalp should be thoroughly massaged each night for five minutes, with the finger-tips, and in the morning the scalp should receive a good brushing with a stiff bristle brush ; and in order to let the sun and air get to the scalp as much as possible, no hat should be worn, where practicable. For the purposes of the daily scalp massage, the finger-tips can be dipped into a little olive oil or some dilute lemon juice, whichever proves the more beneficial. Placing the head under hot and cold water alternately, for a few minutes daily, is also most helpful; as well as the application of hot towels to the scalp, followed by a rinsing with cold water. Fresh air and outdoor exercise should be encouraged as much as possible ; whilst in cases where emotional or mental factors are connected with the setting up of the trouble, change of scene and rest are of great value. (See also treatment for Baldness, following.)
Baldness.� The causes of baldness, as of partial baldness (or alopecia), are many and varied, and cannot always be successfully named in any particular case. Poor health, an enervated or overworked system, the constant wearing of a hat, the persistent use of hair-creams or hair oil, all these play their part in bringing on baldness. Defective nutrition, due to the eating of demineralised or refined foods over a period of many years, and the resultant impoverishment of the hair follicles and glands is one of the chief predisposing causes towards the condition. It must be mentioned here that the chief element the hair follicles need is silica. This is found in all natural unspoilt foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole-grain cereals, etc., but not in white bread, cooked vegetables, and the other usual adjuncts of a demineralised dietary.
Treatment. � All that has just been said with regard to alopecia applies with equal force to the treatment for baldness. A few days on all-fruit (with the use of the enema nightly), followed by the adoption of the full weekly diet given in the Appendix, is the best way to begin the treatment. Where present, constipation should be overcome by following out the rules for its eradication. The improvement of skin action by the daily friction and sitz-bath or cold sponge is most essential, and all the other measures given in the treatment for alopecia must be given full attention, and should be carried out religiously by the sufferer from baldness. Going without a hat (as recommended in the treatment for alopecia), so as to allow full play to the healing and tonic effects of wind and sun, is a most helpful measure indeed. Patent hair restorers, hair tonics, etc., should never be used, and electrical treatment for the hair is also not recommended.
Boils.� A boil (or furuncle) is a painful inflammatory swelling of the skin which develops around a hair follicle. There may be a single one, or several may develop in the same area or different areas at or about the same time, or they may come in successive crops. The swelling is not necessarily limited to one hair follicle, and as many follicles as may be included in the inflammation, so many openings will there be when the boil is ripe and discharges. The cause of boils is a toxic blood-stream due to wrong dietetic habits and wrong living generally (especially the eating of excessive quantities of demineralised starchy and sugary foods), and their presence is a sure sign that that particular individual's system needs a thorough internal cleansing. They usually make their appearance when the sufferer is in a " run-down " or more than usually devitalised condition.
Treatment. � The treatment for boils is as follows : Have from five to seven or ten days on the all-fruit diet given in the Appendix (or else a fast for three to five days on orange juice), followed by the adoption of the general weekly diet also given in the Appendix. Further short periods on all-fruit may be needed from time to time, or further occasional short fasts, according to the general health-level and bodily condition of the patient. The warm-water enema should be used nightly for the first few days of the treatment, and constipation (where habitual) overcome by the adoption of the rules outlined in the treatment for that condition. A hot Epsom-salts bath should be taken twice or three times a week until the boil or boils have gone, and once weekly thereafter. The morning dry friction and sitz-bath or cold sponge outlined in the Appendix should be undertaken regularly, as also the exercises therein given, both breathing and physical. The bodily condition should be further toned up by plenty of fresh air and outdoor exercise, and the future dietary must be carefully watched. Starchy and sugary foods, especially cakes, pastries, sweets, chocolates, white sugar, white bread, etc. are the chief dietetic offenders.
All condiments must be strictly avoided, as also sauces, pickles, etc. As regards purely local treatment, bathing with hot fomentations is the best thing. Vaccine treatment for boils, as practised by the medical profession to-day, must lead to the definite impairment of the future health of the patient, because of its suppressive action ; even though such treatment is apparently successful in certain cases for the time being, it should be strictly avoided.
Carbuncles.� Boils and carbuncles are very similar things, really, and it is hard to distinguish one from the other sometimes. Their main differences are : (1) a carbuncle is an inflammation which is more deep-seated than a boil; (2) it covers more surface ; (3) it does not always present a swelling so much elevated above the surface of the body as a boil; and (4) it may be accompanied by an intense redness which sometimes is suggestive of erysipelas. When a carbuncle discharges it does so from many openings and is accompanied by much sloughing of the skin. Its constitutional effects are very profound and prostrating, and sometimes may lead to fatal results, but only in the case of those of very poor vitality. Like boils, carbuncles are a sign of a very toxic blood-stream due to wrong feeding and wrong living generally, and usually put in their appearance when the unfortunate sufferer is in an unusually low state vitally, through overwork, over-excess, etc., etc. Diabetics and those suffering from kidney disease and tuberculosis often have them as part of the development of the disease.
Treatment. � The treatment for carbuncles is very much on the same lines as that for boils, only in this case more rigorous treatment is needed. If personal naturopathic treatment cannot be obtained, the best course to pursue is as follows : A fast for from four to seven days should be undertaken, on orange juice and water (or vegetable juices), after which the restricted diet given in the Appendix should be adopted for a further seven to ten or fourteen days. This diet may be then discontinued, and the full weekly diet begun, if the carbuncle shows satisfactory signs of clearing up. This full weekly diet should be adhered to as strictly as possible from then on. The patient should rest in bed during the first part of the treatment, or he should rest as much as he possibly can ; and the warm-water enema should be used nightly to cleanse the bowels. If the patient is habitually constipated, the rules for the overcoming of constipation, and the future use of the enema, should be carefully studied. Hot Epsom-salts baths, two or three times a week, will be very helpful, and the morning dry friction and sitz-bath or cold sponge should be begun as soon as the patient is well enough. The breathing and other exercises given in the Appendix should then be adopted regularly too. All enervating habits or practices must be discontinued. Clean living, both dietetic and otherwise, must be the rule henceforward. As regards local treatment, the best thing is the application of hot fomentations several times during the day. Spinal manipulation, where procurable, will be most beneficial in conjunction with the foregoing treatment.
Dandruff. � In dandruff there is a constant fall of little white or yellow scales from the scalp or face, particularly from the former. It increases whenever the hair is brushed or rubbed. It may also appear as lumps or crusts on the scalp. There is an oily kind of dandruff, too, which is the most annoying of all. Each and every form is, however, the direct result of a toxic condition of the system brought on mainly by wrong feeding and constipation, and its treatment is therefore largely constitutional. The application of hair washes and similar preparations is just a waste of time if a permanent cure is desired.
Treatment. � As a matter of fact acne and dandruff are very closely related as to cause and cure; they are both attempts at vicarious elimination of toxins from the system through the medium of the skin and their treatment is almost identical. The reader suffering from dandruff should therefore put into operation the treatment given for acne in the preceding pages of the present section, although in this case there is no need to apply the hot fomentations to the affected areas. Instead, for local treatment, the hair should be washed once every week with hot water and good plain soap, such as castile, and the scalp massaged for five minutes every night with the finger-tips. (The finger-tips may be dipped in a little dilute lemon juice beforehand.) Exposure of the head to the rays of the sun is a good thing, and generally an attempt should be made to keep the bodily health at the highest possible level.
Dermatitis.� Dermatitis really means inflammation of the skin, both external and internal. It may occur as a result of plant poisoning, such as that which occurs from contact with poison ivy ; it may result from a burn ; it may be due to intestinal toxemia; and it also may be due to the elimination of drugs from the system through the medium of the skin. In short, its appearance may be due to causes both many and varied, and treatment must also vary accordingly.
Treatment. � It is obvious from what has just been said that no two cases of dermatitis can be treated exactly alike. If the trouble is constitutional, however�that is, if it arises from internal causes (or previous drug treatment)�from five to seven or ten days on the all-fruit diet, or a short fast for from three to five days on orange juice, is the best way to start the treatment, followed by the adoption of the weekly diet-sheet outlined in the Appendix. If the case is severe, there should be a fast for from three to five or seven days, followed by a week to a fortnight on the restricted diet given in the Appendix, before beginning the full diet, with further fasts and periods of restricted dieting at intervals thereafter, as required. The warm-water enema should be used nightly to cleanse the bowels during the first week or so of the treatment, and after as necessary, and hot Epsom-salts baths should be taken three times weekly. The affected areas may also be bathed twice daily in hot water and Epsom salts (� lb. to a bowlful). Use no medicinal agents of any kind. After Epsom-salts bathing a little olive oil may be applied. Where the trouble is due to external causes, such as a burn or burns, see treatment for burns in the First Aid Section.
Eczema.� Eczema is the most common and one of the most troublesome diseases which affect the skin. It is essentially a constitutional disease, the result of a toxic condition of the system, and covers a wide variety of forms, the majority of eczemas being of a chronic variety. The symptom which is most frequent is either burning or itching, and this is often severe enough almost to drive the sufferer distracted. It is usually worse at night when the heat of the body is retained by the bed-clothes. Scratching only makes the trouble worse. In some cases there is a watery discharge, and in others the skin becomes hard, and cracks. Sometimes there are papules or pimples. In short, the condition may be of the most varied external nature, but the underlying cause is always the same, i.e. a toxic condition of the system due to wrong feeding and wrong living generally. (Suppressive drug treatment of former disease is also a most potent subsidiary causative factor in many cases.)
Treatment. � Of all forms of skin disease, eczema is the most intractable to orthodox treatment, because not until the trouble has been tackled at its source can any hope of real cure be possible. To resort to the use of salves or ointments is worse than useless. Indeed, eczema treated in such a fashion often leads to serious trouble in other directions ; for the toxins thus forced back again into the system, as a result of the suppressive treatment employed, find lodgment in the vital organs and inner structures, and may be the basis for such diseases as tuberculosis, heart disease, kidney disease, etc., etc. The correct treatment for eczema is as follows :
Depending on the severity and duration of the trouble, a fast for from four to seven days on orange juice and water should be undertaken, followed by seven to ten or fourteen days on the restricted diet given in the Appendix. Then the full weekly diet given therein can be adopted. In many cases further short fasts and periods on the restricted diet will be necessary, at, say, two-monthly intervals, for some time to come, before the condition can be fully cleared up. (This will all depend upon the progress being made in the meantime, of course.)
The warm-water enema should be used nightly to cleanse the bowels during the fast, and after if necessary ; and if constipation is habitual, the rules for its eradication should be observed, as given in the self help section of the site library. The hot Epsom-salts bath is often exceptionally useful in dealing with eczema, and three full baths should be taken weekly until the trouble begins radically to subside, when the number of baths may be lessened to two weekly, and thence finally to one. The affected areas should also be bathed night and morning in hot water containing Epsom salts (� lb. of salts to a bowlful of hot water). Exposure of the whole body to sun and air is extremely good, and if this is not possible, a course of artificial sunlight treatment can be fully recommended, in conjunction with the treatment outlined above.
The health of the skin (and body) should be maintained at its highest level by means of the daily dry friction and sitz-bath or sponge, and by the carrying out of the breathing and physical exercises given in the Appendix. Fresh air and outdoor exercise are also essential factors to be considered. The future diet must be strictly in accordance with the diet-sheet given in the Appendix, and tea and coffee, alcoholic beverages, and all condiments and highly flavoured dishes avoided. (By the term " condiments " is also here meant salt.) Sugar should be strictly avoided also, and likewise white-flour products, denatured cereals such as polished rice, pearled barley, etc., and all tinned and potted foods. ONLY EAT PURE, WHOLESOME FOODS. (Really stubborn cases of eczema may need a protracted fast or series of fasts, under naturopathic guidance, to effect a cure.) See also special note on " Clay Packs " at end of this section.
Erysipelas.� Erysipelas may begin on any portion of the skin surface, but the face is the usual part attacked. It is an affection of the lymphatic vessels, and it is the inflammation of these vessels which gives the disease its characteristic redness and inflammation. Occasionally the skin of the joints is the part affected, and it may set in anywhere as the result of a scratch or wound. It may be said right away that no one whose body is really clean within can have erysipelas ; it only arises as the result of a highly toxic condition of the body. Treatment is therefore in every case constitutional rather than local.
Treatment. � The treatment for erysipelas should be as follows : The patient should be kept on water and orange juice or vegetable juices for as long as the fever lasts, which may be for from three days to a week or longer. Then the all-fruit diet can be adopted for a further few days, and finally the full weekly diet given in the Appendix can be gradually introduced as convalescence progresses. The warm-water enema should be used nightly for the first week of the treatment, and longer if necessary; and the affected area should have cold packs applied to it at frequent intervals during the day. (See Appendix for details of packs.) The hot Epsom-salts bath is extremely valuable in these cases, and, if possible, the patient should have one every day during the first part of the treatment, the number being gradually reduced per week thereafter. When full convalescence is reached, the morning dry friction and sponge should be adopted as a regular measure, together with the daily performance of the breathing and other exercises given in the Appendix. Future strict attention to diet is essential.
Erythema. � Erythema is merely a reddening or flushing of the skin, and may be due to many causes : working in a hot atmosphere, excessive drinking, digestive disturbances, etc. Where the trouble is constitutional, due to digestive disturbances, see treatment for Indigestion in the self help section of the site library. Where the cause of the trouble is vocational or due to alcoholic excesses, the course to be taken must be obvious if a cure is desired.
Ichthyosis.� This is a rather rare disease in which there is a scaly formation on the skin surface something like that of the scales of a fish or snake. Vocation sometimes plays a part in giving rise to its appearance, but really it is a constitutional disease similar in many ways to eczema.
Treatment. � This is a very difficult disease to treat successfully, but the treatment given for eczema should be carried out to the full. The Epsom-salts bath and sunlight treatment are very valuable assets to natural treatment.
Impetigo� This is essentially a disease of childhood, although it not infrequently occurs in adults. It is met with most often in schools or institutions devoted exclusively to the care, of children and is constitutional in origin, being due to the malnutrition brought on by persistent wrong feeding and unhygienic habits of living. It appears in the form of vesicles or blisters mainly on the face, neck, and hands, which later form into scabs and fall off. The disease is easily passed on to others by contact, but only if these same others are in a similar state of toxicity and impaired vitality.
Treatment. � As it is only those who are suffering from malnutrition who develop impetigo, the treatment required for its cure is essentially constitutional, consisting of proper diet, correct hygiene, fresh air, etc. For a child suffering from the disease, from four to seven days on all-fruit is the best way to start the treatment, whilst for an adult a short fast for from three to five days on orange juice and water would be best. The future dietary should be along the lines laid down in the Appendix, and great care must be taken to see that fresh fruits, raw salads, fresh milk, and wholemeal bread occupy the most important places therein. (Further short periods on all-fruit, or further short fasts, at monthly intervals, may be needed in certain cases.) The warm-water enema should be used nightly for the first week of the treatment, and longer if necessary ; and if constipation is habitual, the rules for its eradication given in the self help section of the main site library should be put into operation.
The hot Epsom-salts bath three times weekly is a most helpful measure (the number of baths can be diminished as the trouble disappears) ; and the affected areas should be bathed twice daily in hot water containing Epsom-salts (� lb. of salts to a bowlful of hot water). Sun and air baths can be strongly recommended, and the daily dry friction and sponge and the breathing and other exercises given in the Appendix must not be omitted from the treatment.
Lupus. � This is a skin disease of tubercular origin, and is essentially constitutional in character, that is to say, it only attacks those whose bodily condition is poor as a result of wrong living and wrong feeding generally. More often it is on the face than elsewhere, beginning on the bridge of the nose and extending symmetrically to either side of the face. Occasionally the lobe of the ear is affected. It begins as a red spot, and as it spreads becomes scaly, but with a well-defined margin. It is a very disfiguring and annoying disease, and it is well worth the sufferer doing all he can to get rid of it. Orthodox forms of treatment are just a waste of time.
Treatment � The sufferer from lupus should place himself under the care of a competent Naturopath at once, as personal treatment is most essential. Strict diet, fresh air, and all measures for building up the tone of the body are required. Sun and air baths, artificial sunlight treatment, and spinal manipulation are all indicated for this trouble. The Epsom-salts bath is also very useful. (Obviously the longer the disease has been in existence, the more difficult will it be to eradicate.)
Nettle-rash (Urticaria).� This skin disease is also called hives, and consists of an eruption of hard, slightly raised blotches or wheals, white, pink, or bright red in colour, with a white spot in the centre. There may be large numbers of them all over the body, either singly or in groups, ranging in size from a pea to a half-crown. The disease is most trying to the sufferer, because of the intolerable itching and pricking, and is aggravated by scratching. The cause of the trouble is essentially dietetic.
Treatment. � Five to seven or ten days on the all-fruit diet (or a fast for from three to five days) is the best way to begin the treatment, and this should then be followed by the adoption of the full weekly diet-sheet given in the Appendix. (Future strict adherence to this weekly dietary is absolutely essential if the trouble is not to return again at other times.) Two or three days on the all-fruit diet, every now and then, will also be a good thing to still further cleanse the system of toxic matter.
The warm-water enema should be used nightly whilst on the all-fruit diet, and later if necessary, and the hot Epsom-salts bath should be taken three times a week for the time being, reducing to two weekly as the disease disappears. A dry friction and sponge should be taken daily, and the breathing and other exercises given in the Appendix gone through regularly. Strong tea, coffee, alcohol and all condiments and highly spiced or flavoured dishes should be avoided in future ; also sugar, all white-flour products, and unripe or very acid fruits.
Psoriasis. � This is one of the most stubborn forms of skin disease, and, like eczema, is constitutional. No amount of external treatment in the form of ointments and salves will- be of any permanent use. The disease appears on the elbows, in front of the lower limbs, the scalp, and the sides of the body, and sometimes on the back of the hands and feet, and face. In appearance it consists of round red patches of skin covered with shiny scales or crusts, which bleed profusely if more than the outer crust is peeled off. There is also a great deal of itching.
Treatment. � The natural treatment for psoriasis is identical with that for eczema, the causes being the same in either case, although psoriasis carries with it a suggestion of hereditary taints which eczema usually does not. The sufferer from psoriasis should therefore carry out in every detail the treatment given for eczema in the preceding pages of the present section. (See also special note on " Clay Packs " at the end of this section.)
Ringworm. � See treatment for Ringworm in the self help section of the site library; Childhood Ailments.
Seborrhea.� This is a disease of the sebaceous or oil glands which are distributed all over the skin surface to provide lubricating materials to the hair follicles. For cause and treatment, the sufferer is referred to acne, in the present section, with which seborrhea is very closely related.
Shingles.� This is a disease of nervous origin, and is most often the result of intestinal toxemia, especially through the eating of excessive quantities of flesh foods. There is fever for three or four days, followed by pain, which may subside after the eruption appeals. This last is in the form of groups of vesicles or blisters, as large as a pea or bean, with as many as twenty in a group sometimes. The blisters come in crops over a period of weeks, and there is much inflammation and swelling of the surrounding parts. The vesicles eventually discharge. The eruption may be on any part of the body, but is most usually seen on the abdomen, face, chest, and arms.
Treatment. � The treatment for shingles is as follows : The patient should be kept on orange juice and water only for from four to seven days, according to the severity of the attack. The bowels should be cleansed night and morning during this period with the warm-water enema, and less and less frequently thereafter. As the more active symptoms of the trouble begin to disappear, the all-fruit diet can be adopted for a few days, and then the full weekly diet given in the Appendix can be gradually introduced. The hot Epsom-salts bath is extremely valuable in this disorder, and the patient should have one every other day, if possible, whilst the trouble is well advanced, and less frequently thereafter.
The affected parts can also be bathed daily with hot water and Epsom salts (� lb. to a bowlful). When convalescent, the dietary must be very strictly watched, and the morning dry friction, cold sponge, breathing exercises, etc., given in the Appendix, should be undertaken regularly. Artificial sunlight treatment is a very valuable aid to recovery.
Sycosis.� This is a disease connected with the hair follicles, and is commonly known as barber's rash, or eczema of the beard. It consists of inflammation and swelling of the hair follicles, and is very painful and troublesome. Although the superficial cause of the disease may be external, it is essentially a disease of constitutional origin, and the treatment given in the present section for Eczema will be found the most efficacious way of dealing with the condition. External treatment by means of salves, ointments, etc., will never effect a real cure. The full Epsom-salts bath, Epsom-salts applications, and sun and air bathing (as advised for the, treatment of eczema) are most useful indeed. Artificial sunlight treatment is recommended as a desirable adjunct to the treatment here advised.
SPECIAL NOTE RE " CLAY PACKS." � The use of clay packs in the treatment of skin diseases has been found very valuable by many Naturopaths, of course in conjunction with a proper scheme of dietetic and other natural treatment. The writer has therefore thought it incumbent upon him to mention them here.
The packs are made by mixing the clay with a little water, and applying to the areas affected. After the clay has dried, it is removed and a fresh pack put on.Clay packs are eliminative in their action, not suppressive, as salves, ointments, etc., are. They absorb and remove the toxins present in the diseased skin areas; the toxins are not forced back into the blood-stream, as in orthodox treatment for skin diseases. Clay for clay packs can be obtained through any Health Food Store. Clay packs are best suited for skin diseases of the eczema and psoriasis type.
Did you find what you were looking for? If not use the site search box at the top right hand of the page, or else return to the main site library.