"The skin is the mirror of the organism's functioning; its color, texture, dryness, and every one of its other aspects, reflect our mental state and our deeper sensations. We blanch with fear and turn red with embarrassment. Our skin tingles with excitement and feels numb with shock; it is a mirror of our state."
Our skin is the communicator between the outer world and our inner world. It marks our boundaries of expressions and very often when these boundaries have been overstepped, our skin reacts by blushing in shame, flushing in anger, spotting with self doubt or glowing with love and excitement. Any skin blemish is a result of emotional unhappiness. We all know how our skin looses its beauty when we are stressed and how it has got a shiny glow when we are truly happy.
The skin covers our entire body. It is the foundation on which all the other senses are based. Our skin is the interface between our nervous system and the environment in which we live. It connects the outside to our insides, and vice versa. Neuro-anthropologist Andre Virel says, "Our skin is a mirror endowed with properties even more wonderful than those of a magic looking glass."
The skin is an essential player in the conundrum of our existence, in our striving for radiant well-being and connection to all things. It is our skin that allows us to differentiate between sandpaper and marble, glass and water, hot and cold, pain and pleasure. When we add taste, smell, sight, and hearing to this biological equation, a magnificent symphony of feeling and sensation informs our experience. Without our senses we are like stick figures -- without sense and sensibility, forever ensnared in the modern disease of cerebral reasoning.
Social importance of Skin
A person’s physical appearance is the first thing seen by others in social situations. The skin is one of the most important components of an individual’s physical appearance.
It is likely that the majority of people with chronic non-contagious dermatological disorders, cosmetically disfiguring skin disorders experience considerable psychosocial rejection, which is mainly determined by feelings of stigma due to their skin lesions that can often have severe social impacts on a patient.
Many patients experience outright rejection such as being asked, due to their chronic skin disorders. They even avoid social activities such as swimming, sunbathing, communal baths or showers, playing sports and attending a hairdresser or gym because of their skin lesions like psoriasis or eczema. They tend to withdraw and isolate themselves from social circles. Choice and color of clothing can also be affected and some patients have such social phobia that they avoid leaving their own homes because of psoriatic lesions. Sexual relationships can be inhibited especially if the lesions are affecting the groin area.
In addition, the majority of patients feel that people stare at them because of their lesions and that non-sufferers may incorrectly regard their condition as contagious. Many feel ‘untouchable’ or ‘like a leper’ and regarded their bodies as ‘unclean’ because of their lesions. It is not surprising, therefore, that chronic skin diseases patients anticipate rejection, avoid public places or interpersonal situations and thus reduce the quality of their life and social opportunities.
Acne, one of the most common skin complaints in adolescents, may lead to depression and low self-esteem. It is observed that generally they lack self-confidence, tend to be introverted, avoid eye contact with other people, try to hide their face by hair styling and usually keep their head down. At this age many teenagers will be comparing themselves to the next person and any atypical will be keenly spotted and felt in the form of jibes and comments.
Individuals growing up in Western society learn to believe that attributes such as clear skin, strong nails and clean hair are what is needed if one is to achieve that elusive quality of beauty. Therefore, if one lacks these features, because of a skin disorder then one is no longer seen as attractive or beautiful. Hence they tend to become more and more obsessed with their skin and outer appearance, sometimes overdoing make-up and dressing up to distract attention from their skin disorder.
Effect of Stress on the Skin
Warning Stress Can Be Hazardous to Your Skin!
Unfortunately, stress has become a constant major factor, playing role in our lives. At work, in our relationships, driving through rush-hour traffic -- most of us take it for granted that there is nothing unusual about stressful situations occurring on a regular basis. Stress works insidiously to undermine body, mind and emotions. But the results can become all too obvious, by showing up on your skin.
Even if stress does not actually show up on your skin, it is one of the chief contributors to an increased population of free radicals in the body, which, in turn, has been discovered to be a major cause of premature aging. Emotional or mental trauma can cause you to screw up your face or frown or pout, and constant muscular contractions can eventually become permanent fine lines and wrinkles.
The body’s built-in way of responding to stress is the ‘Fight-or-Flight’ mechanism. In such phases the flow of blood and nutrients is directed to the areas of the body considered vital for responding to the stress and withdrawn from areas considered non-essential, such as the skin. Hence skin is starved of both blood and oxygen, making it dull and lifeless, less supple, less hydrated and more prone to clogged pores and breakouts.
Along with affecting the immune system, stress also undermines digestion. An imperfect digestion adversely affects skin health and indeed your overall health. Thus the body does not absorb all the nutrients from the foods we eat and undigested impurities tend to accumulate in the body faster than the body can get rid of them.
Skin diseases like Psoriasis and eczema are known to worsen when patient is under stress. A patient may point out that their very first or their worst episode of psoriasis occurred immediately following some emotional catastrophe, like a death in the family or a divorce or massive business failure. Many teenagers and adults can tell you that during times of stress, their acne gets worse. Stress produces biochemical changes in the body related to neuro-hormones produced by the brain. These affect other chemical systems, including the levels of male and female sex hormones, which in turn are well known to influence acne.
How Homoeopath deals with the skin disorders?
A homoeopath regards any disease as an expression of the internal disturbance – the disturbance of the vital force. Hence homeopathic treatment for any disease is essentially based in understanding this disturbance.
The focus of the homoeopath is to understand each patient as a whole and to determine what is it that sets him apart from others, what is it that makes him individual with his ailments. Each one of us differ from others, not only in our appearance or manner of talking, but also in the way we feel, think, react, view the world within us and around us and also we differ in our nature, temperament, the food we like to eat and the kind of diseases we suffer from.
Each of us has our own individual reactivity hence the symptoms and the pace of infection also differ in every case. In any situation each one of us react differently. Think of a tragedy and different people feel and react differently to the same event. Even identical twins developed from the same single cell can also have strikingly different natures.
The disturbed Vital Force causes the disturbances at the energy level, which in turn causes the disturbances at the mind and the body level. And when human being can’t cope-up with these disturbances at mind and the body level then the disease starts.
In Homoeopathy, each person is regarded as a sum of his innermost feelings, perceptions, thoughts, sensations plus the reactions to (thoughts, feelings, perceptions, fears and sensations) plus the way he cope-ups with all these in health and disease. Finally what is important for a homoeopath is the way one thinks, feels, perceives and senses his illness, himself and the world around him.
These things are best explored in patient’s fears, dreams, incident that had a deep impact on him, his interests, hobbies, childhood nature, fantasies, desires, imaginations and things that are bothering him the most etc. A homoeopath treats his patient as a whole and not his disease and therefore we can say that a homoeopathic treatment is individual specific and not disease specific. Hence when a patient comes to a homoeopath for the treatment of his skin disorder, in order to cure his patient he needs to take into consideration the above points.
The skin disorders like eczema, psoriasis, pimples (acne), boils, fungal infections of skin and nails (like ringworm, felon), hives (urticaria), herpes, vitiligo (white patches), warts, moles, melasma (pigmentation on the skin), hair loss, etc. can be taken care by Homoeopathy. Also the common skin diseases of children and new born like nappy rash, childhood eczema, warts, impetigo, fungal infections, hair loss, scabies etc. can be very well treated with Homoeopathy.
Once a homoeopath has understood thoroughly his patient then he can even give an idea about the duration of treatment.
The homeopathic treatment for any skin disease consists of the oral medications.
Kindly pay attention to the following points.
1] Although the skin lesions are considered as so called local illness, local applications are sticky prohibited. The local treatment with creams, lotions or ointments are considered to be temporary and suppressive. Hence all patients are advised not to apply any sorts of local applications.
2] In the process of homoeopathic treatment, it is very likely that the skin disease may worsen initially (especially in case when it is treated with other modes of treatments). It is also possible that some skin lesion may appear while treating some other illness. This happens because of the exteriorization of the disease. It can also be called as the house cleaning process where all the toxins are being thrown out on the most superficial layer of our body. Thus eliminating the disease from the root. Hence it is considered to be a very good reaction occurring after the homoeopathic treatment. If the patient is at this stage in the treatment then we advise him to bear with this intensification rather than getting worried or panicked looking at the aggravation.
3] In the beginning we advise our patient to limit the contact with the things that can irritate your skin lesion.
(Once the homoeopathic treatment has started then we specially ask the patient to use that particular substance so that we can come to know how far your skin can take the exposure to that particular substance. And we can judiciously view the effect of the treatment.)
4] Wool and some synthetic fabric can irritate your skin. Most people with sensitive skin feel better in clothes made of cotton or a cotton blend.
5] Wear gloves/socks
- To avoid irritation of the skin with any strong detergent/soap while working.
- To prevent secondary infection from dust and other factors.
- To prevent excess of dryness especially when you go outside in winter. Cold air and low humidity can cause excess of dryness that worsens the lesions like eczema.
(Take occasional breaks and remove your gloves to prevent a build up of sweat inside the gloves.)
5] Use mild variety of soap in a small amount. Soaking the affected part in tub for a short time can be good for your skin as the skin’s outer layer can absorb the water and become less dry. After soaking for sometime, use a soft towel to pat your skin dry without rubbing.
6] Immediately after drying, apply a moisturizer to your skin. It helps keep your skin soft and prevents from cracks and friction. A good, cheap moisturizer like petroleum jelly (such as Vaseline/coconut oil) is advisable. Avoid moisturizers with fragrances (perfume) and a lot of extra ingredients. Use moisturizer that is more greasy than creamy, as creams usually contain more preservatives.
7] Try not to scratch/rub/squeeze the affected area even if it itches. Scratching can break the skin causing secondary infection.
8] Do not use any other mode of treatment (like Ayurvedic/Herbal) during the course of homoeopathic treatment.
9] It is also very essential to brief your homoeopath with the past treatment that patient had been taking for his skin complaints viz. steroids etc.
10] For our better judgment we take the photographs of all the lesions before, during and after the treatment.
DIFFERENT SKIN DISORDERS
ALOPECIA ARIATA – PATHCHY HAIR LOSS
BEFORE TREATMENT AFTER TREATMENT