Skin Infections - Symptoms, Treatment, Homeopathic Remedies
Using Homeopathy for Skin Infections
A boil, also called a furuncle, is an infection of the skin that usually starts in a hair follicle or oil gland. The most common places for boils are the armpits, face, neck, shoulders, and buttocks. A clump of such infections is called a carbuncle, and a boil on the eyelid is called a sty. After several days of tenderness, pus (white blood cells, bacteria, and proteins) accumulates at the site, and then the infection comes to a head that can be surgically drained or will spontaneously open. If the infection spreads into deeper layers of skin tissue it becomes an abscess. Other types of boils include cystic acne (most common on the face, and during teenage years), hidradenitis suppurativa (in the armpits or groin area, resulting from inflamed sweat glands), and pilonidal cysts (in the crease of the buttocks).
The source of most boils is staphylococcus (staph) bacteria - though there many others including ingrown hairs, splinters, or other foreign objects. Susceptibility is increased by diabetes, compromised immune systems, poor nutrition, poor hygiene, exposure to harsh chemicals, taking cortisone medications, and cancer chemotherapy. Boils become more dangerous health situations when fever or chills arise, multiple boils develop, red streaks appear on the surrounding skin, pain becomes severe, a large boil fails to drain, or lymph glands become swollen.
Conventional Treatment Treats the Symptoms Not the Cause
Treatment includes applying compresses and soaking the area in warm water, washing the drainage area with antibacterial soap, and applying medicated ointments. Large boils sometimes need to be surgically drained with a scalpel ("lanced"), and occasionally gauze will be left in the incision to keep the wound draining. Doctors may also administer antibiotics if the infection is severe.
In addition to heat treatment, surgery, and antibiotics, there are numerous home remedies for boils, with varying degrees of reliability; these include preparations made with bitter gourd, milk cream, garlic and onion, betel leaves, cumin seeds, margosa leaves, parsley, or turmeric.
Homeopathy Matches Your Individual Symptoms to a Homeopathic Remedy So You Feel Better Right Away
The homeopathic approach to boils addresses the whole person, not just the affected skin or tissue. While conventional (allopathic) medicine uses topical remedies to treat skin conditions, according to homeopathy such an approach might resolve the superficial condition but suppress the expression of the underlying root problem, driving it deeper inside, ultimately causing other problems such as headaches, irritable bowels, or asthma. The homeopathic approach to skin issues is to cure from the inside out, with the aim being to bring the body into balance. But a skilled homeopathic practitioner will choose a remedy or set of remedies that alleviates the symptoms as well. Some of the more common homeopathic remedies prescribed for boils include Belladonna, Silicea, and Sulphur.
Blisters are fluid-filled bubbles on the skin, frequently painful or itchy, caused by a variety of factors such as abrasion/chafing (from shoes or gloves, for example), burns (including severe sunburn), abrasion, cold, and bug bites. Other types of blisters include herpes cold sores, shingles, impetigo, scabies, and chickenpox. Blisters can also arise due to autoimmune diseases or contact dermatitis - such as poison ivy exposure.
Most blisters can be treated at home, but severe blistering can indicate a medical condition that needs professional care. Treatment includes applying loose bandaging, puncturing larger blisters with a sterilized needle and pressing out the fluid, and applying antibacterial ointments such as Bacitracin. Home remedies for cold-sore blisters include rubbing on the affected area aloe, mint extract, or a preparation grapefruit seed extract, or drinking a tincture of echinacea, calendula, oats, burdock, and lomatium.
There are numerous homeopathic remedies prescribed for blisters, depending on the blisters' shape, texture, color, fill-fluid (blood or lymph fluid), source, and degree of inflammation. Some of the more commonly prescribed remedies are Apis mellifica, Dulcamara, Natrum muriaticum, and Petroleum.