This section is from the book "The Chronic Diseases, Their Specific Nature And Their Homeopathic Treatment", by Samuel Hahnemann. Also available from Amazon: The chronic diseases, their specific nature and their homeopathic treatment.
Usually it takes six, seven or ten, perhaps even fourteen days from the moment of infection before the transformation of the entire internal organism into Psora has been effected. Then only there follows after a slight or more severe chill in the evening and a general heat, followed by perspiration in the following night (a little fever which by many persons is ascribed to a cold and therefore disregarded), the outbreak of the vesicles of itch, at first fine, as if from miliary fever, but afterwards enlarging on the skin* - first in the region of the spot first infected, and, indeed, accompanied with a voluptuously tickling itching, which may be called unbearably agreeable (Grimmen), which compels the patient so irresistibly to rub and to scratch the vesicles of itch, that, if a person restrains himself forcibly from rubbing or scratching, a shudder passes over the skin of the whole body. This rubbing and scratching, indeed, satisfies somewhat for a few moments, but there then follows immediately a long-continued burning of the part affected. Late in the evening and before midnight this itching is most frequent and most unbearable.
*Far from being an independent, merely local, cutaneous disease, the vesicles or pustules of itch are the reliable proof that the completion of the internal Psora has already been effected, and the eruption is merely an integrating factor of the same, for this peculiar eruption and this peculiar itching make a part of the essence of the whole disease in its natural, least dangerous state.
The vesicles of itch contain in the first hours of their formation a lymph clear as water, but this quickly changes into pus, which fills the tip of the vesicle.
The itching not only compels the patient to rub, but on account of its violence, as before mentioned, to rub and scratch open the vesicles; and the humor pressed out furnishes abundant material for infecting the surroundings of the patient and also other persons not yet infected. The extremities defiled even to an imperceptible degree with this lymph, so also the wash, the clothes and the utensils of all kinds, when touched, propagate the disease.
Only this skin symptom of the Psora which has permeated the wh6le organism (and which is more manifestly falling under the cognizance of the senses has the name of itch), only this eruption, as well as the sores which later arise from it and are attended on their borders with the itching peculiar to Psora, as also the herpes which has this peculiar itching and which becomes humid when rubbed (the tetter), as also the tinea capitis - these alone can propagate this disease to other persons, because they alone contain the communicable miasma of the Psora. But the remaining secondary symptoms of the Psora, which in time manifest themselves after the disappearance or the artificial expulsion of the eruption, i. e., the general Psoric ailments, cannot at all communicate this disease to others. They are, so far as we know, just as little able to transfer the Psora to others, as the secondary symptoms of the venereal disease are able to infect other men (as first observed and taught by J. Hunter) with syphilis.
When the itch-eruption has only lately broken out and is not yet widely spread on the skin, nothing of the general internal malady of the Psora is as yet to be noticed in the state of the patient. The erup-tional symptom acts as a substitute for the internal malady and keeps the Psora with its secondary ailments as it were latent and confined.*
In this state, the disease is most easily cured through specific remedies internally administered.
But if the disease is allowed to advance in its peculiar course without the use of an internal curative remedy or an external application to drive away the eruption, the whole disease within rapidly increases, and this increase of the internal malady makes necessary a corresponding increase of the skin symptom. The itch-eruption, therefore, in order to be able to soothe and to keep latent the increased internal malady, has to spread and must finally cover the whole surface of the body.
Yet even at this acme of the disease the patient still appears healthy in every other respect; all the symptoms of the internal Psora, now so much increased, still remain covered and assuaged through the skin-symptom augmented in the same proportion. But so great a torture, as is caused by so unbearable an itching spread over the whole body, even the most robust man cannot continue to bear. He endeavors to free himself from these torments at any price, and, as there is no thorough help for him with the physicians of the old school, he endeavors to secure deliverance at least from this eruption, which itches so unbearably, even if it should cost his life; and the means are soon furnished him, either by other ignorant persons, or by Allopathic physicians and surgeons. He asks deliverance from his external tortures, without suspecting the greater misfortune which unavoidably follows, and is bound to follow, on the expulsion of the external skin-symptoms (which hitherto has acted vicariously for the internal enlarged Psora-disease), as has been sufficiently proved by the observations mentioned before. But when he thus drives away such an eruption of itch by external applications, he exposes himself to a similar misfortune, and acts just as unreasonably, as a person who in order to be quickly delivered from poverty, and thus as he supposes to make himself happy, steals a great sum of money, and is, therefore, sent to the dungeon and the gallows.
* As also the chancre, when not expelled, acts vicariously and soothingly for the syphilis within, and does not permit the venereal disease to break out, so long as it remains undisturbed in its place. I examined a woman who was free from all the secondary symptoms of the venereal disease; with her a chancre had remained in its place untreated for two years, and had gradually acquired the size of almost an inch in diameter. The best preparation of Mercury, internally administered, soon and entirely healed, not only the internal malady, but also the chancre.