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Skin Disease and Homeopathy

Posted on 3rd November 2023

I have before me a book by the late Dr Jan de Vries, titled ‘Skin Diseases’ first published in 1992. He regularly used homeopathy in the treatment of skin disease.

Photo by Luis Quintero on Unsplash

Jan de Vries was born in the Netherlands, enduring the hardships of Nazi occupation as a child.  He trained as a pharmacist but converted to alternative medicine early in his career influenced by a Swiss doctor Alfred Vogel (you will find Vogel herbal products in Health Food shops to this day).  Dr de Vries established a clinic in Troon on the West Coast of Scotland, which by the time of his death in 2015, was hugely successful with patients attending from overseas as well as locally.  I consulted him once, and it was like a cottage hospital, there was so much going on.  

Naturopathy and Homeopathy – common principles

De Vries was a Naturopath, though he also used homeopathic medicines. His approach to skin complaints (indeed all complaints) was to start with the fundamentals of good nutrition, hydration, relaxation and so forth. This is the basis of naturopathy, as the name suggests. 

From a homeopathic standpoint also this is sound advice.  These factors are the basis of good health.  Dr Samuel Hahnemann (who set down the principles of homeopathic medicine) made this quite clear; first put your ‘house’ in order.

That said, they may be insufficient to address an underlying constitutional root cause, which is where treating skin diseases with homeopathy comes in.  This is a sort of re-tuning of the life force that animates each one of us.  

The Skin and Skin Disease

The skin is one of the largest organs of the body. It extends to 1.5 square meters in a typical adult and every 5 square centimetres contains some 20 million cells.  It serves as both a barrier to germs and an organ of elimination through perspiration. 

Skin diseases take many forms but the more common are acne, eczema and psoriasis.  All three may be influenced to a greater of lesser extent by epigenetic, dietary, hormonal or stress factors.  Allergic reactions can also play a part. Then you are unique, which is to say that although your skin condition has the same diagnosis as another person’s it may have a quite different cause. 

The Treatment of Skin Diseases with Homeopathy

Strangely, skin conditions whilst maddening – particularly if there is an itch, can indicate a good level of health.  This is because the body works centrifugally and, if it can, it will throw problems out to the surface and away from vital organs.   Many years ago I had a small outbreak of psoriasis on my elbows and I consulted a naturopath, who told me it was a ‘healthy persons disease’.  Of course psoriasis takes different forms some severe enough to require hospitalisation, but in my case the identified trigger was acidity from drinking too much orange juice, so fairly trivial.

Most orthodox treatments for skin conditions focus on managing symptoms.  For example, corticosteroid creams have an anti-inflammatory effect and can break the cycle of constant itching.  Fantastic as that is, it is not curative.  I could have used steroid cream and continued drinking orange juice, but perhaps not the best plan? 

There is a well known link between eczema and asthma.  Following the centrifugal hypothesis mentioned above, the problem is that when eczema is suppressed the body shifts its expression on the skin to the respiratory system, which is potentially more hazardous.

From the above, you can see that a bit of detective work is required to understand the root cause.  This is why the homeopathic consultation takes a little time.  Is there a family history of the condition that points to a genetic element?  What is going on in your life, and might this be a significant factor?  What is your diet like, perhaps what you crave is not what you need?   Chemical substances from medications to make-up may be another factor?  And so on.

Treating Skin Diseases with Homeopathy. Easy as Pie?

Unfortunately, the treatment of skin diseases with homeopathy takes a little time also.  I have some tune-up software on my computer that reminds me as it runs ‘give me a moment, we all wish it was as easy as pie!’ 

A little time back a young lady consulted me with moderately bad acne.  I knew less then than I do now, but nonetheless progress we made progress.  Then the stresses of life got in her way which showed up on her skin again.  In this situation you might either repeat the remedy, perhaps at a higher potency, or retake the case and change tack. As is every clients right, she chose not to return, noting that ‘it had been a while’.  Actually, on checkin I found that it takes just as long to achieve results from orthodox medication some of which has undesirable side-effects.

On the other hand two parents stayed the course. They sought advice for their little girl who had suffered with infant eczema for some time. They had already cut out most dairy products, which are known to cause problems.   It was quite a challenging case. Three year olds are happier to scratch than engage in analysis of their skin complaint. From her viewpoint there are more interesting things to do, of course!  Her reaction to baked beans pointed the way.  As you know beans have a being ‘windy’ reputation, also a characteristic of the homeopathic remedy Lycopodium.  For the first time in months the parents got a good night’s sleep.

I now make it clear on my consultations page that resolution for a longer standing problem after one appointment is not really realistic.  Perhaps the clue is in the word ‘patient’ though I prefer ‘client’  because the process is about working together to understand and address the root of the problem.  

society of Homeopaths

Disclaimer: I am a qualified professional homeopath and not a medical doctor. The NHS has many resources, and seeking the opinion of your GP is always of value.

© 2024 Allan Pollock