Skin Infections and role of Homeopathy in treating Skin issues

  • Post category:Skin

BY Dr Kukreja A Kalani MD (Homeopathy)

April, 2022

Skin Infections and role of Homeopathy in treating Skin issues

Skin infections:

Your skin is the largest organ of your body. Its function is to protect your body from infection. Sometimes the skin itself becomes infected. Skin infections are caused by a wide variety of germs, and symptoms can vary from mild to serious.
The following are four different types of skin infections:
1. Bacterial skin infections
2. Viral skin infections
3. Fungal skin infections
4. Parasitic skin infection

1)Bacterial Skin Infections:

The skin provides a remarkably good barrier against bacterial infections. Although many bacteria come in contact with or reside on the skin, they are normally unable to establish an infection. When bacterial skin infections do occur, they can range in size from a tiny spot to the entire body surface. They can range in seriousness as well, from harmless to life threatening. Bacterial skin infections develop when bacteria enter through hair follicles or through small breaks in the skin that result from scrapes, punctures, surgery, burns, sunburn, animal or insect bites, wounds, and pre-existing skin disorders. People can develop bacterial skin infections after participating in a variety of activities, for example, gardening in contaminated soil or swimming in a contaminated pond, lake, or ocean. Bacterial skin infections often begin as small, red bumps that slowly increase in size.

Different types of bacterial skin infections include: cellulitis, impetigo, boils, leprosy.

(A) Cellulitis:
Cellulitis is a common, potentially serious bacterial skin infection. The affected skin appears swollen and red and is typically painful and warm to the touch. Cellulitis usually affects the skin on the lower legs, but it can occur in the face, arms and other areas. Cellulitis occurs when certain types of bacteria enter the skin through a break in its surface. Staphylococcus and Streptococcus (strep) bacteria commonly cause this infection. The infection can start in skin injuries such as: cuts bug bites surgical wounds Cellulitis symptoms include: pain and tenderness in the affected area, redness or inflammation of your skin, a skin sore or rash that grows quickly, tight, glossy, swollen skin a feeling of warmth in the affected area an abscess with pus, fever

(B) Impetigo:
Impetigo is a common and highly contagious skin infection that mainly affects infants and young children. It usually appears as reddish sores on the face, especially around the nose and mouth and on the hands and feet. Over about a week, the sores burst and develop honey-coloured crusts. Symptoms: The main symptom of impetigo is reddish sores, often around the nose and mouth. The sores quickly rupture, ooze for a few days and then form a honey-coloured crust. Sores can spread to other areas of the body through touch, clothing and towels. Itching and soreness are generally mild. Causes: Impetigo is caused by bacteria, usually staphylococci organisms. Causes: You might be exposed to the bacteria that cause impetigo when you come into contact with the sores of someone who’s infected or with items they’ve touched — such as clothing, bed linen, towels and even toys.

(C) Boils:
A boil is a skin infection that starts in a hair follicle or oil gland. At first, the skin turns red in the area of the infection, and a tender lump develops. After four to seven days, the lump starts turning white as pus collects under the skin. Symptoms: A painful, red bump ,Reddish or purplish, swollen skin around the bump, An increase in the size of the bump over a few days as it fills with pus, Development of a yellow-white tip that eventually ruptures and allows the pus to drain out. Causes: Most boils are caused by Staphylococcus aureus, a type of bacterium commonly found on the skin and inside the nose. Risk factors: Although anyone can develop boils or carbuncles, the following factors can increase your risk: Close contact with a person who has a staph infection, Diabetes, Other skin conditions, Compromised immunity. Prevention: It’s not always possible to prevent boils, especially if you have a weakened immune system. But the following measures may help you avoid staph infections : Wash your hands regularly with mild soap, Keep wounds covered, Avoid sharing personal items.

(D) Leprosy:
Leprosy is a chronic infectious disease caused by Mycobacterium leprae, an acid-fast, rod-shaped bacillus. The disease mainly affects the skin, the peripheral nerves, mucosa of the upper respiratory tract, and the eyes. The main symptom of leprosy is disfiguring skin sores, lumps, or bumps that don’t go away after several weeks or months. The skin sores are pale-coloured. The infection can be contracted at any age, and signs and symptoms can take anywhere from several months to 20 years to appear. Leprosy occurs on a spectrum, in which the most severe form is called multibacillary or lepromatous, and the least severe form is called paucibacillary or tuberculoid. Patterns of signs and symptoms intermediate between these forms are sometimes called borderline forms. Multibacillary leprosy usually involves a large number of cutaneous lesions, including both surface damage and lumps under the skin. Paucibacillary leprosy typically involves a small number of surface lesions on the skin. There is generally loss of sensation in these areas, but the other signs and symptoms that occur in multibacillary leprosy are less likely to develop in this form of the disorder

2)Viral skin infections :
They can be a reaction to a virus inside your body, or they can be an actual infection of your skin. They range from the entirely harmless, to the quite serious. Some are contagious; others you can touch without catching. Different types of viral infections include: Shingles(herpes zoster), Chickenpox, Molluscum Contagiosum, Warts, Measles, Hand, Foot and mouth disease.

(A) Shingles:
Shingles is caused by the varicella-zoster virus — the same virus that causes chickenpox. After you’ve had chickenpox, the virus lies inactive in nerve tissue near your spinal cord and brain. Years later, the virus may reactivate as shingles. Symptoms: Pain, burning, numbness or tingling, Sensitivity to touch, red rash that begins a few days after the pain, Fluid-filled blisters that break open and crust over, Itching. Complications: Postherpetic neuralgia, Vision loss, Neurological problems, Skin infections.

(B) Chickenpox:
Chickenpox is an infection caused by the varicella-zoster virus. It causes an itchy rash with small, fluid-filled blisters. Chickenpox is highly contagious to people who haven’t had the disease or been vaccinated against it. It mainly affects kids, but adults can get it, too. Symptoms appear within 10 to 21 days after you’ve been in contact with someone who has the virus. Most people recover in about 2 weeks. Chickenpox is generally mild, especially in children. But in severe cases, the blisters can spread to your nose, mouth, eyes. It Spreads very easily. You can get the virus by breathing in particles that come from chickenpox blisters or by touching something on which the particles landed. Chickenpox is most contagious from 1 to 2 days before the rash appears until all the blisters are dried and crusted.

(C)Molluscum Contagious:
Molluscum contagiosum is an infection caused by a poxvirus (molluscum contagiosum virus). The result of the infection is usually a benign, mild skin disease characterised by lesions that may appear anywhere on the body. The lesions, known as Mollusca, are small, raised, and usually white, pink, or flesh-coloured with a dimple or pit in the centre. In most people, the lesions range from about the size of a pinhead to as large as 2 to 5 mm in diameter. They may become itchy, sore, red, and/or swollen. Mollusca may occur anywhere on the body including the face, neck, arms, legs, abdomen, and genital area, alone or in groups. The lesions are rarely found on the palms of the hands or the soles of the feet.Molluscum contagiosum spreads easily through Skin-to-skin contact, Contact with contaminated objects, such as towels, Scratching or rubbing the bumps, which spreads the virus to nearby skin.
Measles is a highly contagious illness caused by a virus that replicates in the nose and throat of an infected child or adult. Then, when someone with measles coughs, sneezes or talks, infected droplets spray into the air, where other people can inhale them. The infected droplets may also land on a surface, where they remain active and contagious for several hours. You can contract the virus by putting your fingers in your mouth or nose or rubbing your eyes after touching the infected surface. About 90% of susceptible people who are exposed to someone with the virus will be infected.Complications of measles may include Ear infection, Bronchitis, laryngitis or croup, Pneumonia. Measles signs and symptoms appear around 10 to 14 days after exposure to the virus. Signs and symptoms of measles typically include Fever, Dry cough, Runny nose, Sore throat, Inflamed eyes (conjunctivitis),Tiny white spots with bluish-white centres on a red background found inside the mouth on the inner lining of the cheek, skin rash.

Measles is a highly contagious illness caused by a virus that replicates in the nose and throat of an infected child or adult. Then, when someone with measles coughs, sneezes or talks, infected droplets spray into the air, where other people can inhale them. The infected droplets may also land on a surface, where they remain active and contagious for several hours. You can contract the virus by putting your fingers in your mouth or nose or rubbing your eyes after touching the infected surface. About 90% of susceptible people who are exposed to someone with the virus will be infected.Complications of measles may include Ear infection, Bronchitis, laryngitis or croup, Pneumonia. Measles signs and symptoms appear around 10 to 14 days after exposure to the virus. Signs and symptoms of measles typically include Fever, Dry cough, Runny nose, Sore throat, Inflamed eyes (conjunctivitis),Tiny white spots with bluish-white centres on a red background found inside the mouth on the inner lining of the cheek, skin rash.

(F)Hand, foot and mouth diseases(HFMD):

Hand-Foot-Mouth Disease (HFMD) is a common childhood illness caused by a virus. It easily spreads from person to person (contagious) when someone comes in contact with the body fluids of an infected person. This can happen by: Touching something that has been sneezed, coughed on, Breathing in air droplets of the infected person when talking , Touching something that has been soiled with stool ,Touching body fluid from a draining sore. It is most common in young children under age 5 years, but teenagers or adults may also get the virus. The early symptoms of HFMD are much like a common cold. Fever, Headache, Sore throat, Runny Nose. A day or two after the fever, you might see Small painful sores on the throat and tonsils, red spots on the palms of the hands, soles of the feet, and diaper area, tenderness or pain when touching the palms of the hands and soles of the feet, Poor appetite due to painful swallowing. After the rash has healed, the skin may peel; but this is harmless.

3) Fungal infection:

A fungal infection, also called mycosis, is a skin disease caused by a fungus. There are millions of species of fungi. They live in the dirt, on plants, on household surfaces, and on your skin. Sometimes, they can lead to skin problems like rashes or bumps. Since fungi thrive in warm, moist environments, fungal skin infections can often develop in sweaty or damp areas that don’t get much airflow. Some examples include the feet, groin, and folds of skin. Often, these infections appear as a scaly rash or discolouration of the skin that is often itchy. Some fungal skin infections are very common. Although the infection can be annoying and uncomfortable, it’s typically not serious. Fungal skin infections are often spread through direct contact. This can include coming into contact with fungi on clothing or other items, or on a person or animal. A fungal skin infection might cause:Irritation,Scaly skin,Redness,Itching,Swelling,Blisters. Some of the most common are Athletes foot, Yeast infection, Ring Worm, Nail Fungus, Oral Thrush and Diaper Rash.

(A) Athlete’s foot:
Athlete’s foot is a fungal skin infection that usually begins between the toes. It commonly occurs in people whose feet have become very sweaty while confined within tight-fitting shoes. Signs and symptoms of athlete’s foot include an itchy, scaly rash.

Athlete’s foot occurs when the tinea fungus grows on the feet. You can catch the fungus through direct contact with an infected person, or by touching surfaces contaminated with the fungus. The fungus thrives in warm, moist environments. It’s commonly found in showers, on locker room floors, and around swimming pools.

Anyone can get athlete’s foot, but certain behaviours increase your risk. Factors that increase your risk of getting athlete’s foot include visiting public places barefoot, sharing socks, shoes, or towels with an infected person, wearing tight, closed-toe shoes, keeping your feet wet for long periods of time, having sweaty foot, having a minor skin or nail injury on your foot. There are many possible symptoms of athlete’s foot, which include Itching, blisters, peeling or cracking of skin, dry skin, raw skin, thick crumbly toe nails.

(B)Yeast Infection:
A yeast infection is a fungal infection that causes irritation, discharge and intense itchiness. Yeast infection affects a high percentage of women at some point in their lifetimes. Yeast infection symptoms can range from mild to moderate, and include Itching and irritation , A burning sensation, Redness and swelling, pain and soreness, rash, Thick, white, odour-free discharge, Watery discharge.
The fungus candida albicans is responsible for most yeast infections. The area naturally contains a balanced mix of yeast, including candida, and bacteria. Certain bacteria (lactobacillus) act to prevent an overgrowth of yeast. But that balance can be disrupted. An overgrowth of candida or penetration of the fungus into deeper layers causes the signs and symptoms of a yeast infection. Overgrowth of yeast can result from Antibiotic use, which causes an imbalance ,Pregnancy, Uncontrolled diabetes, An impaired immune system

Ringworm is a common skin infection that is caused by a fungus. It’s called “ringworm” because it can cause a circular rash (shaped like a ring) that is usually red and itchy. Anyone can get ringworm. Ringworm — also known as dermatophytosis, dermatophyte infection, or tinea — is a fungal infection of the skin. “Ringworm” is a misnomer, since a fungus, not a worm, causes the infection. The lesion caused by this infection resembles a worm in the shape of a ring, which is why it got its name. Ringworm goes by different names depending on which body part it affects. Common ringworm infections include jock itch (groin), athlete’s foot and scalp ringworm. Ringworm is usually specifically used to describe tinea corporis (ringworm of the body) or tinea capitis (ringworm of the scalp). It’s sometimes used to describe tinea infection in other locations, such as tinea cruris (ringworm of the groin).Ringworm may spread from an affected area to other parts of the body, such as the: scalp, feet, hands, nails, groin, beard. Symptoms vary depending on where the infection occurs: itchiness, patches that develop blisters, patches that resemble a ring, overlapping ring, hair loss.

(D)Nail Thrush:
Fungal nail infections are common infections of the fingernails or toenails that can cause the nail to become discoloured, thick, and more likely to crack and break.
Candidiasis of the nails can result in the following symptoms in the fingernails or toenails: brittle, easily breakable, or splitting nails. white, brown, or yellow discoloration. debris collecting under the nail.
Fungal nail infections can be caused by many different types of fungi that live in the environment. Small cracks in your nail or the surrounding skin can allow these germs to enter your nail and cause an infection. Anyone can get a fungal nail infection. Some people may be more likely than others to get a fungal nail infection, including older adults and people who have the following conditions: A nail injury or nail surgery, Diabetes, A weakened immune system, Blood circulation problems, Athlete’s foot.

(E)Oral thrush:
Oral thrush happens when a yeast infection develops inside your mouth. It’s also known as oral candidiasis, oropharyngeal candidiasis, or simply thrush. Symptoms of oral thrush in its early stages, oral thrush may not cause any symptoms. But as the infection gets worse, one or more of the following symptoms may develop: white or yellow patches of bumps on your inner cheeks, tongue, tonsils, gums, or lips, slight bleeding if the bumps are scraped, soreness or burning in your mouth, a cotton-like sensation in your mouth, dry, cracked skin at the corners of your mouth, difficulty swallowing, a bad taste in your mouth, a loss of taste. Normally, your immune system works to repel harmful invading organisms, such as viruses, bacteria and fungi, while maintaining a balance between “good” and “bad” microbes that normally inhabit your body. But sometimes these protective mechanisms fail, increasing the number of candida fungus and allowing an oral thrush infection to take hold. The most common type of candida fungus is Candida albicans. Several factors, such as a weakened immune system, can increase your risk of oral thrush. You may have an increased risk of oral thrush infection if any of these issues apply: Weakened immunity, Diabetes, Vaginal yeast infections, Medications, Other oral conditions. If your immune system is weakened, you’re more likely to develop complications from thrush. Without proper treatment, the fungus that causes thrush may enter your bloodstream and spread to your heart, brain, eyes or other body parts. This is known as invasive or systemic candidiasis.

(F) Diaper rash:
Diaper rash is a common form of inflamed skin (dermatitis) that appears as a patchwork of bright red skin on your baby’s bottom. Diaper rash is often related to wet or infrequently changed diapers, skin sensitivity, and chafing. It usually affects babies, though anyone who wears a diaper regularly can develop the condition. Diaper rashes are caused by moisture and friction irritating your child’s skin. It often happens when urine and feces sitting against their skin in the diaper cause the skin to become red irritated. However, this isn’t the only cause. Other causes include: diapers rubbing, chaffing, and causing irritation, an allergic reaction to laundry detergent, bubble bath, wipes, or another product that touches your child’s skin, a reaction to antibiotics, an allergic reaction to newly introduced foods.To prevent diaper rash, keep your baby’s skin as dry and clean as possible and change diapers often so that poop and pee don’t irritate the skin. Try these tips: Change your baby’s soiled or wet diapers as soon as possible and clean the area well. Occasionally soak your baby’s bottom between diaper changes with warm water. You can gently scoop the water over your baby’s bottom with your hand or squeeze it from a plastic bottle. Let your baby’s skin dry completely before you put on another diaper. Pat the skin gently with a soft cloth, when drying it rubbing can irritate skin. Put the diaper on loosely to prevent chafing. Diaper rashes are common and can happen to any child who wears a diaper. However, some risk factors make it more likely that a child will develop a diaper rash. These include: being between 6 and 9 months old, having diarrhea, having a cold or other illness, taking antibiotics.

4)Parasitic skin infection:
Parasites on the skin are usually small insects or worms that burrow into the skin to live there or lay their eggs. Click on the links below to learn more about this topic. As the skin is constantly exposed to the environment, it represents a common portal of entry for different parasites. Infestations with parasites can cause systemic diseases in humans but often result in cutaneous lesions which are on the rise in dermatology clinical practice due to the increase of travel and immigration. Parasitic skin infection include lice, bedbugs, scabies, cutaneous larve migrans.

Lice are tiny, wingless, parasitic insects that feed on human blood. Lice are easily spread especially by schoolchildren through close personal contact and by sharing belongings. Anyone who comes in close contact with someone who already has head lice, or even their contaminated clothing and other belongings, is at risk for acquiring head lice. So it is easy to transmit head lice from one person to another. Preschool and elementary-school children (3-11 years of age) and their families are infected most often. Girls contract head lice more often than boys, and women contract more head lice than men. Common signs and symptoms of lice include: Intense itching, Tickling feeling, Lice on your scalp, body, clothing, or pubic or other body hair, Lice eggs (nits) on hair shafts, Bite marks. It’s difficult to prevent the spread of head lice among children in child care and school settings. There’s so much close contact among children and their belongings that lice can spread easily. It’s no reflection on your hygiene habits or those of your children, and it’s not a failure on your part as a parent if your child gets head lice.

Bedbugs are small, oval, brownish insects that live on the blood of animals or humans. Adult bedbugs have flat bodies about the size of an apple seed. After feeding, however, their bodies swell and are a reddish colour. It can be difficult to distinguish bedbug bites from other insect bites or rashes. In general, the sites of bedbug bites usually are: Red, often with a darker red spot in the middle, Itchy, Arranged in a rough line or in a cluster, Located on the face, neck, arms and hands. The most obvious sign of bedbugs in the home is that people complain of bites that occurred while they were asleep. If this happens, examine the bedrooms for bedbugs and signs of bedbug activity. Look carefully in bed linen and the seams and tufts of mattresses and box springs for bugs or eggs. The eggs will look like tiny, pale poppy seeds. Bedbugs are more common in crowded lodgings that experience high turnover in occupancy, such as: Apartment complexes, Dorm rooms, Homeless shelters, Hotels, Cruise ships, Trains and buses, Refugee camps.

(C )Scabies:
Scabies is an itchy skin condition caused by a tiny burrowing mite called Sarcoptes scabiei. Intense itching occurs in the area where the mite burrows. The urge to scratch may be especially strong at night. Scabies is contagious and can spread quickly through close physical contact in a family, child care group, school class, nursing home or prison. After the initial exposure to scabies, it can take 2 to 5 weeks for symptoms to appear. The symptoms usually develop more quickly in people who’ve had scabies before. Common sites for scabies in older children and adults include the: wrist, elbow, armpit, nipple, penis, waist, buttocks, area between the fingers. Household members and close contacts of someone being treated for scabies should get treated at the same time, even if they have no symptoms. This will help prevent the spread of scabies. Wash clothing, sheets, and towels in hot water and dry on a hot setting. Put stuffed animals and any other items you can’t wash in a sealed plastic bag for at least 3 days. Vacuum each room in the house, then throw away the vacuum cleaner bag. If a person scratches or rubs their skin to relieve the intense itching of a scabies infestation, it may create skin sores. Should these open sores become infected with bacteria on the skin, such as S. aureus, it could lead to serious conditions, such as heart disease, kidney disease, or blood poisoning.

(D)Cutaneous Larve Migrans:
Cutaneous larva migrans (CLM), also having been termed for the clinical sign of creeping eruption, is an infectious syndrome caused by multiple types of hookworms. This is most commonly transmitted by animal faeces depositing eggs in the soil, with larvae entering humans through direct contact with skin. Many types of hookworm can cause cutaneous larva migrans. Common causes are: Ancylostoma braziliense: hookworm of wild and domestic dogs and cats found in central and southern US, Central and South America, and the Caribbean, Ancylostoma caninum: dog hookworm found in Australia, Uncinaria stenocephala: dog hookworm found in Europe, Bunostomum phlebotomum: cattle hookworm. The signs of CLM typically appear 1 to 5 days after infection, although sometimes it takes longer. Common signs and symptoms include: Red, twisting lesions that grow, Itchiness and discomfort, Swelling, Lesions on the feet and backside.

How Homeopathy helps in treatment of Skin ailments:

Homeopathy is based on the principle of ‘like cures like’. The symptoms are the body’s way of taking action to overcome an illness. This healing response is automatic in living organisms termed the vital response.

The application of a correct homeopathic medicine increases the body’s ability to respond to an illness and so makes the body’s own healing more rapid and effective. In Homeopathy only ‘the minimum dose’ is employed, upon the understanding that the stimulus of the medicine works from within and is not imposed from the outside. Only enough is administered to initiate the healing process which then carries on, driven by its own internal healing mission. The use of the minimum dose has the advantage that it does not produce the gross side effects so often caused by conventional treatments. Conventional medicines suppress symptoms, masking them, and this is why you often have to stay on drugs for a long time or find your symptoms return when you come off the drugs. Homeopaths do not suppress symptoms. Homeopathic treatment works with your body’s own healing powers to bring about health and well-being. Patients are treated as individuals, not as a collection of disease labels. Homeopathy treats all your symptoms at all levels of your being, be it spiritual, emotional, mental and physical. Homeopathy offers holistic approach to health and healing.

The healing agents used in homeopathy are derived from mineral, plant and animal sources and are used according to the principle of like cures like. When a person is treated as a whole, the symptoms presenting in different parts of their body will naturally be cured because their overall health has been addressed, that is to say their mental, emotional and physical symptoms have all been taken into account and treated by the homeopath. The long-term aim of homeopathic treatment is not only to alleviate the immediate presenting problem, but also to address the underlying causes. A person’s susceptibility to disease can arise from psychological imbalance, stress, physical weaknesses and heredity. A well-chosen homeopathic medicine strengthens a person’s self-curative response.

Constitutional Prescription in Homeopathy:

1. This refers to selection and administration of Homeopathy medicine over a period of time for treatment related to inherent disorders, those caused by inherent predisposition to a disease.
2. The constitutional remedy covers the genetic makeup, physical and mind symptoms, their thermal state, desires and aversions of mind and body.

How does Constitutional prescription help:

1.Homeopathic treatment acts as an immunoregulator or immunomodulator, thus regulating or reviving the immune system.
2.Reducing effects of genetic inheritance of disease.
3.Covers predisposition towards the aliment and hence prevention of disease.
4.Cements the weakness and defects of immune system.
5.Promotes build-up of immune blocks to fight back the invasion by microbes.
6.Helps in absorption of essential nutrients and facilitates expulsion of metabolic waste.
7.Remedy acts as a antioxidative agent to neutralise the free radicals and stop the process of deterioration of tissues.

Role of Homeopathy for Skin :

Homoeopathy treatment have been very successful in treating skin problems. Conventional treatments usually end up making the skin dry and irritable. Homoeopathy has been proven to be safe and successful in treating a number of skin problems.
1.Medicines improve immunity, thus rectifies the hypersensitive reaction.
2.Intensity and severity of flare-ups is reduced.
3.Childhood tendencies to skin issues are completely curable.
4.A Lot of Skin issues are caused by stress, hormonal and enzymatic imbalance, thus intermittent boost up constitutional doses are required for long term relief.