Boils

A boil is a firm swelling (nodule) beneath the skin caused by the infection of a hair follicle. Thick, white or yellow pus accumulates and comes to a head. Boils may be associated with illness, being run-down, fatigue, or stress. Recurrent boils may be due to an infection or they may be a symptom of diabetes. SELF-HELP Bathe a boil with a solution of hypericum and calendula (see page 271). Never squeeze a boil, and if it bursts, let it drain naturally. Avoid handling food after dealing with boils. CAUTION If boils recur, are accompanied by fever or severe pain, or do not heal within a week, consult a doctor.

Early stages of boil formation

Later stages of boil when pus has formed

Possible sudden onset of symptoms Boil is round and hard

Skin around the boil is dry, inflamed, painful, and throbbing Possible fever

Boil has a head of pus that is on the point of bursting

Boil is sensitive to the slightest touch nerve endings that perform its sensory function, glands that manufacture sebum to keep the skin supple and waterproof, and follicles that produce hair and nails. Homeopathic practitioners tend to regard skin complaints as an outer manifestation of what is going on within the body, and look for underlying causes of skin eruptions. Stress, poor diet, and allergies, as well as infections, may all cause outbreaks. Skin conditions may be aggravated by factors such as lack of exercise; eating sugary foods, refined carbohydrates, or other foods; caffeine and alcohol; constipation; the use of cosmetics; and contact irritants in the environment.

PSYCHOLOGICAL SYMPTOMS

SYMPTOMS BETTER

SYMPTOMS WORSE

REMEDY & DOSAGE

• Restlessness

• For physical or mental exertion

• For hormonal changes such as

Kali. brom.

• Nervousness

• In cold weather

those associated with puberty

(see page 149)

• Suspicion

or menstruation

6c 3 times daily

• Feeling of helplessness

• For emotional stress

up to 14 days

Great irritability Petulance

Tendency to lash out if the pimples are touched

For heat

In damp weather For eating

When the pimples are touched, even lightly For cold

When lying on the affected areas

Hepar sulph.

(see page 84) 6c 3 times daily up to 14 days

• Tearfulness

• For crying

• For rich, fatty foods

Pulsatilla

• Self-pity

• In the open air

• In warm, stuffy rooms

(see page 61)

• Desire for sympathy

• For applying cold compresses to

• For hormonal changes such as

6c 3 times daily

the affected areas

those associated with puberty,

up to 14 days

menstruation, or pregnancy

• Possible anxiety

• For warmth

• For cold

Arsen. alb.

• Restlessness

• For applying warm compresses

• Between midnight and 2 a.m.

(see page 68)

• Desire for reassurance

to the affected areas

• For physical or mental exertion

6c 4 times daily

• For walking around

• For drinking milk

up to 7 days

• Anxiety

• In fresh air

• For washing

Sulphur

• Lack of mental energy

• For cold

• For becoming overheated

(see page 99)

• Overcriticism of others but

• For perspiring

• Early in the morning

6c 4 times daily

tolerance of one's own failings

up to 7 days

• Timidity

• For sleep

• For cold or sweet foods,

Graphites

• Indecisiveness

• When wrapped up warmly

or seafood

(see page 83)

• Possible anxiety and depression

• In fresh air

• For hormonal changes associated

6c 4 times daily

• Emotionalism

with menstruation

up to 7 days

• In cold conditions

• For scratching the skin

None, unless multiple boils • For applying pressure to the • For applying cold compresses Belladonna are accompanied by fever, affected area to the affected area (see page 39)

in which case there may be • At night • In drafts 30c hourly delirium and hallucinations • For warmth • For touch up to 10 doses

Possible extreme bad temper • For warmth • In cold air and drafts Hepar sulph.

Desire not to be touched, • For applying warm compresses • For even the lightest touch (see page 84)

physically or emotionally to the affected area • When lying on the affected area 6c hourly

• In damp weather up to 10 doses

DISORDER

SPECIFIC AILMENT

PHYSICAL SYMPTOMS

URTICARIA (HIVES)

This condition consists of raised red patches—sometimes with paler centers—that itch intensely. It may be caused by food allergy, certain drugs, bites or stings, or heat, cold, or sunlight. Urticaria may also be a symptom of stress or leaky gut syndrome (see Allergy, page 206).

SELF-HELP Take a cool shower or place a covered ice-pack on the affected area. Urtica ointment may relieve itchiness. CAUTION If the eyes, lips, or throat swell dramatically, call 911, and take Apis 30c every minute until help arrives.

Urticaria with swelling on the lips and eyelids

• Skin on the lips and eyelids is red, swollen, and burning

• Throat may be swollen

Urticaria with violently itchy blotches

• Burning sensation, especially on the hands

• Itchy, red or pale, slightly raised blotches

• Stinging spots on the skin

COLD SORES

Cold sores are blisters on and around the mouth caused by a virus. They are triggered by being run-down or by hot, cold, or windy weather. Accompanying symptoms include ulcers, inflamed gums, a furry tongue, and mild fever.

SELF-HELP Avoid eating peanuts, chocolate, seeds, and cereals.

Sores on the lips and around the mouth

• Lips are swollen and burning, with pearl-like blisters

• Blisters weep before becoming crusty

• As blisters dry up, they may develop into deep, painful cracks

WARTS

A wart is caused by a virus that causes cells to multiply rapidly, forming a raised lump. Warts on the feet (verrucas) tend to grow inward as a result of the pressure placed on them. SELF-HELP Cover a wart, but not the surrounding skin, with a fabric adhesive bandage. Drip thuja mother tincture on to it twice daily. Over-the-counter treatments can be used with homeopathic ones, except on facial warts. Keep treatments away from the eyes. CAUTION If the condition does not improve, and especially if a wart changes size or color, or if it itches or bleeds, consult a doctor.

Soft, fleshy, cauliflower-shaped warts

• Warts are found anywhere on the body, but especially on the back of the hand

• Warts ooze or bleed easily

• Restless sleep

Warts mainly near the nails

• Warts appear on the fingers, near or even under the nails

• Possible warts on the face and eyelids

• Verrucas may be painful

DANDRUFF

Dandruff is characterized by a flaking scalp, which is sometimes itchy and red. It may be caused by seborrheic dermatitis, a form of eczema (see page 240). More rarely, it may be symptomatic of psoriasis (see page 195) or a fungal infection. SELF-HELP Reduce your intake of refined carbohydrates and animal fats. If the whole scalp itches, place a cold compress soaked in olive oil on the head overnight; wash off with a pure soap shampoo. If all else fails, use a shampoo containing selenium, but follow instructions carefully. Apply calendula ointment to itchy areas around the hair line.

Dandruff with unbearable itching at night

• Scalp is unbearably itchy at night

• Round, bare patches of scalp show through the hair

Dandruff with skin that burns when scratched

• Thick dandruff

• Scratching, particularly at night, causes the skin to burn

• Scalp becomes drier for washing the hair

HAIR LOSS

Old hair is lost as new hair grows. Growth may slow sometimes so that hair is lost faster than it is replaced. Thinning often occurs with age, especially in men, and may be hereditary Hair loss may be associated with thyroid problems, anemia, vitamin or mineral deficiency, stress or shock, or certain drugs.

SELF-HELP Avoid processes such as dyeing or perming, and do not wash or condition the hair too frequently. Let the hair dry naturally.

Scalp massage may help. Eat plenty of protein.

CAUTION If the condition does not improve, or if there is no

Premature balding or graying

• Great hair loss or graying of hair at a younger age than would normally be expected

• Hair loss possibly associated with eczema on the scalp

Hair loss due to hormonal changes

• Greater hair loss than usual following childbirth or during menopause

• Possible chronic headaches

explanation for sudden hair loss, consult a doctor.

PSYCHOLOGICAL SYMPTOMS

SYMPTOMS BETTER

SYMPTOMS WORSE

REMEDY & DOSAGE

• Irritability and nervousness

• Clumsiness and a tendency to drop things

• For undressing

• In the late afternoon

(see page 104) 30c hourly up to 10 doses

• None apart from irritability due to discomfort of symptoms

• For gently massaging the affected area

• For scratching the skin

Urtica urens

(see page 170) 6c hourly up to 10 doses

• Depression

• Desire to be left alone

• Aversion to consolation

• For fasting

• In cold, thundery weather

• For physical or mental exertion

(see page 92) 6c 4 times daily up to 5 days

• Oversensitivity and vulnerability

• Disturbing dreams

• For covering the affected area

• For warmth

• For scratching or picking the wart

• In cold, damp living conditions

(see page 64) 6c twice daily up to 3 weeks

• Pessimism and depression

• Intense sympathy for people in distress or for animals

• Emotionalism

• In damp conditions

• For cold drinks

• For emotional stress

Causticum

(see page 79) 6c twice daily up to 3 weeks

• Restlessness and anxiety, especially upon waking in the middle of the night

• For covering the head

• For walking around

• For vegetables

(see page 79) 6c 3 times daily up to 14 days

• Lack of mental energy

• Lack of willpower

• Overcriticism of others but tolerance of one's own failings

• For vegetables

• For drinking milk

(see page 99) 6c 3 times daily up to 14 days

• Lack of self-confidence

• Anger

• For relaxation or convalescence

• For warm drinks

(see page 59) 6c twice daily up to 4 weeks

• Tearfulness

• Irritability

• Indifference to loved ones

• Aversion to sexual intercourse

• For applying hot compresses to the head

• For bathing in cold water

• For vigorous exercise

• Before menstruation

• During pregnancy, after childbirth, or following a miscarriage

(see page 59) 6c twice daily up to 4 weeks

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