This section is from the book "Hartmann's Theory Acute Diseases And Their Homoeopathic Treatment", by Charles J. Hempel. Also available from Amazon: Theory of acute diseases, and their homoeopathic treatment.
(e.) Ulcerosa, with purulent destruction of the skin as in herpes exedens or ulcerosus, lepra, etc.
These different exanthemata may be either acute or chronic. The acute form is distinguished from the chronic by its greater regularity, and by the fever which always accompanies the former, and is scarcely ever, and then only slightly, present in the latter.
§ 92. We are not acquainted with any particular predisposition for acute cutaneous eruptions, unless it be a scrofulous or pituitous disposition, young age, an excessive sensitiveness of the skin from keeping it too warm.
Nor are we acquainted with any particular exciting causes, causa occasionales, except miasmatic and contagious causes, or contagious miasms.
Cutaneous eruptions generally are secondary affections, which always disappear together with the primary disease. In fevers, eruptions may be occasioned by the intensity of the fever, exposure to excessive heat, diaphoretics, dyserasia.
Acute eruptions differ from each other in form, power of contagion, and the manner in which they originate; they are likewise distinguished into simple, and compound.
Acute eruptions, if not cured, may result in the following secondary affections: - Indurations of the lymphatic glands, leading to atrophy and scrofulosis, suppuration, ulceration, dropsy, etc. Such secondary affections generally take place in individuals of a sickly constitution, or who are affected by the least change of weather, and are liable to catarrhal fevers, diarrhoea, rheumatic pains. Other symptoms of a sickly constitution are: sudden alternation of spirits, from elated to low, flaccid state of the muscles, prostration of strength from the least exertion.
§ 93. In acute eruptions, the prognosis depends,
(1.) Upon the age of the patient. The younger the children, the greater the danger. The prognosis is more favourable from the fourth to the twelfth year; and less favourable again in the age of pubescence, when the disease is disposed to assume a typhoid character. At the period of manhood, the eruption may become dangerous, in consequence of the accompanying fever, which frequently increases to a true synocha, and exposes the patient to the danger of an apoplectic paroxysm.
(2.) Upon the constitution of the patient. The exan-them is more dangerous in proportion as the nervous system of the patient is more sensitive and more easily affected.
(3.) Upon the accompanying fever. In most cases, the fever is remittent; however, it may assume the character and type which happens to prevail at the time. In the case of robust individuals, the prognosis is favourable if the fever be a synocha of moderate degree. If the fever should become typhoid, the prognosis is not always favourable, owing to the putrid symptoms which are apt to supervene.
(4.) Upon the diseases with which the eruption happens to be complicated. A simple eruption is more easily cured than one which is complicated with other diseases.
§ 94. Acute exanthemata are sometimes so slight, that they disappear again without any treatment. If the exanthem originate in uncleanliness of the skin, the first step towards a cure, is to wash the skin thoroughly; at the same time, injurious nourishment and excessive heat, either from too much covering or from a stove, ought to be avoided. The temperature of the room and the quantity of covering are to be regulated agreeably to the desire of the patient, who is the best judge of what is pleasant to him. The notion that the skin, in cases of acute eruption, should be kept very warm, has been abandoned long ago. By keeping the skin too warm, its sensitiveness and consequent liability to cold, and the danger of a sudden disappearance of the eruption, are unnecessarily increased.
If the fever which accompanies the exanthem be-very moderate; if it be a simple and unimportant excitement of the circulation, the patient may do without any medicine; and all that is required in the way of treatment, is to regulate the diet of the patient, the temperature of the sick-room, and to attend to the necessary ventilation, light, quiet, etc. But if there should be much fever, or if it should threaten to become typhoid; if gastric symptoms should be present, the treatment should be more positive.
For the synochal fever and the complete cure of various acute eruptions, Aconite is the well-known remedy.
Belladonna is another specific and prophylactic for certain acute eruptions; it shortens their course, diminishes their intensity, and prevents secondary diseases.
Mercurius renders essential service in suppurative eruptions, and removes dangerous secondary symptoms.
Ipecacuanha and Bryonia arrest the course of many kinds of eruptions in their commencement, and restore them even upon the skin after they have been suppressed by some accidental cause.
Pulsatilla promotes suppuration in many kinds of eruption; this may likewise be said of Hepar sulphu-ris.
Arsenic is an excellent remedy for many kinds of malignant eruptions.
Dulcamara is useful in many eruptions consequent upon a cold.
Rhus t. cures similar eruptions.
If, during the course of an acute exanthem, sweat should be suddenly suppressed, it can be restored by a dose of Cocculus or Nux vomica, according as one or the other remedy is indicated by the symptoms.
Sulphur and Graphites are indispensable in many cases of chronic eruption.
External applications are seldom, if ever, used by homoeopathic physicians for the cure of cutaneous diseases.