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Homeopathic Relief from Facial Acne Rosacea

by Alexandra Ayton(more info)

listed in homeopathy, originally published in issue 58 - November 2000

Like most of us, I feel happier and more confident if my skin is looking its best, but for three long years, this was far from the case.

When I was in my early thirties, with all teenage problems far behind me, I developed a puzzling pattern of eruptions on my chin, jaw and lower face. Every month for about ten days, my complexion would be covered in broken patches with red, almost sunburnt skin. It felt hot to the touch with a constant itch, which only made it worse. The heat was so great that it culminated in rough angry patches and cracked, weeping skin before subsiding until the next cycle a few weeks later.

The author at the beginning of another cycle of eruptions on her lower face
The author at the beginning of another cycle of eruptions on her lower face

Alex looking confident and relaxed and free of skin disorders at last
Alex looking confident and relaxed and free of skin disorders at last

Fortunately, the rest of my body was unaffected which was some consolation. My general health was good with no gynaecological problems, so there was no obvious reason for the disorder, but when I visited my GP, he was not at all puzzled. After examining my face, he announced with great confidence that I was suffering from nothing more than 'a bad case of acne rosacea'.

Armed with a prescription for tetracycline, I felt hopeful that this would be the end of it. However, once I had completed the course, the problem remained. The redness on my chin and lower face had subsided up to a point, but sadly, the bumpiness, uneven skin and burning sensations continued.

This was the start of a series of repeat prescriptions together with creams and lotions to apply to the affected area. In addition to this, I was advised to keep my hair away from my face, eat plenty of fruit and vegetables, and avoid excess alcohol, particularly red wine, strong coffee and other possible irritants like chocolates and spicy, fatty foods. Other dos and don'ts were plenty of fresh air, no strong perfumed soaps or bubble baths, and the use of soft face towels, all of which I did but to no avail.

Having adhered to the doctor's advice to the letter, I felt it was time to see an 'expert'. I was therefore referred to the senior dermatologist in the area but not before a frustrating wait during which time my skin continued to cause me distress. Eventually, I found myself sitting in the dermatology clinic surrounded by patients of all ages with a variety of unsightly skin complaints.

As I furtively observed the angry rashes, dry skin and itching and scratching children in the overcrowded waiting room, I felt that the clinician I was about to see would soon solve my own troubles, small in comparison. Yet, after numerous consultations over many months, the dermatologist, like my GP before was equally baffled. Eventually, exasperated by the lack of any positive response and no further pills or potions available, I was dismissed from the clinic with a shrug of the shoulders and the words, "Well, you'll just have to learn to live with it!"

Needless to say, with no solution and my complaint just as acute as before, my spirits sank and I became dejected and disheartened. If the medical profession could not resolve it, where was I to go next? At the same time, I had to endure the gaze of friends and colleagues as the texture of my skin became more inflamed, whilst I became more self-conscious and anxious in social situations.

One day, when I was in the midst of another outbreak, a longstanding friend gave me the address of her own doctor, a fully qualified homeopath who ran a weekly clinic nearby. As she was a great advocate of alternative medicine, she recommended natural remedies and homeopathy instead. Dr Samuel Hahnemann, the German physician and founder of homeopathy in 1796 based his beliefs on the principle of treating like with like using a minute dose of a non-toxic remedy to accelerate the body's own recovery.

Apparently, there is a current resurgence of interest in homeopathy in this country because it is relatively cheap compared with antibiotics, natural, safe and free of side effects. An estimated one in five people including the Royal Family regularly use homeopathy with homeopathic pharmacies throughout the country and homeopathic hospitals in London, Bristol, Liverpool, Tunbridge Wells and Glasgow.

Impressed by what I had heard and having exhausted all other conventional avenues, I felt that I had nothing to lose. Without further delay, I presented myself at the homeopathic clinic for my first consultation.

The doctor not only made a very thorough examination of my skin but also asked me about myself, my hobbies, likes and dislikes, my temperament, the quality of my sleep and my life leading up to my complaint. Barometers such as the patient's personal circumstances are all considered important and in keeping with the holistic approach.

The consultation included an evaluation of the three homeopathic 'indications': firstly, stature, build, complexion and stamina; secondly, mental indications such as a tendency to be anxious or irritable; and thirdly, the characteristics of the disease itself.

The treatment of the whole person as a unique individual requiring a very specific remedy was a striking contrast to the orthodox National Health Service where the condition is treated in isolation rather than in conjunction with the person. This was not an approach I had experienced before and I was pleasantly surprised by the thoroughness of the consultation.

When I returned for a review, the doctor was not deterred. Both my symptoms and personality were re-evaluated before prescribing Calc sulph 6 for skin eruptions, acne and itching, in addition to Nat mur 30, a deep-acting remedy three times a day for the first week only. Nat mur 30 was then decreased to three times a week whilst the dose for Calc sulph remained the same.

Once again, I was reminded of the importance of allowing half an hour before and after meals and strong drinks before taking the remedies in order to maximize the effect. At first, I noticed a temporary flare-up in my symptoms. The homeopath had warned me that this might happen and was a sign that the treatment of treating like with like was working. As the flare-up continued, I stopped taking the pills for a short time and recommenced when my symptoms had settled down.

Shortly after, I noticed the first encouraging signs of an improvement. The texture of my skin was not so rough, the itchiness and redness had subsided and my face was noticeably more comfortable. The burning sensations were considerably less and I felt that I was on the right track at last. Over a period of months, my complexion and state of mind continued to improve, gradually releasing me from the aggravations that I had endured for so long.

Delighted with the results, my confidence increased and I no longer put a protective hand up to my chin when talking to people. Furthermore, I was happy to have my photograph taken rather than offer to be the photographer as in the past. The long-term effects were excellent and I continued taking the tablets for approximately eighteen months until I no longer needed any kind of treatment.

Since then, I have invested in my own library of homeopathic directories and reference books and visited homeopathic web-sites which give me the ability to take control of my own health without automatically turning to orthodox medicine.

As a wife and mother, my enthusiasm for natural remedies continues, encompassing Bach flower remedies, healing and many other alternative therapies. Our local homeopathic pharmacy enables me to keep the medicine cabinet and first aid kit well stocked with homeopathic creams such as Arnica and Rhus tox whilst aromatherapy also helps me unwind after a particularly busy day.

Natural remedies are both versatile and practical, with organizations such as The British Homeopathic Association, The British Homeopathic Dental Association and The British Association of Homeopathic Veterinary Surgeons able to give practical support and guidance in these areas.

It is some years since my first experience of natural health care. My interest in natural remedies has grown and I have treated minor ailments with great success. Homeopathy, with the emphasis on the importance of the individual with their own particular quirks and idiosyncrasies continues to be the cornerstone of my own self-help, allowing me to choose remedies which are both natural, gentle and free of unpleasant side effects. Now, I would not be without it.

Useful Addresses

The British Homeopathic Association, 15 Clerkenwell Close, London EC1R 0AA Tel: 020 7566 7800 Fax: 020 7566 7815.
British Homeopathic Dental Association, 15 Clerkenwell Close, London EC1R 0AA Tel: 020 7566 7827.
British Association of Homeopathic Veterinary Surgeons, Alternative Veterinary Medicine Centre, Chinham House, Stanford-in-the Vale, Faringdon, Oxon SN7 8NQ. Tel: 01367 710 324.

Websites

www.homeopathyhome.com/ www.efn.org/~cblack/homeopathy.html

Comments:

  1. Andrea said..

    Thanks for posting this! My complexion went from decent to horrid overnight and I was looking for something more "natural" to see if I could nip it in the bud. Like you,I've had some GREAT success with homeopathic meds. If you know anyone who has chronic hives tell 'em to try Hyland's Hive tabs. They have NEVER failed me. Anyway, I'm going to give YOUR regimen a try to see if it helps me. If it doesn't, I'll have to find my own homeopath instead of plinking around on the web! :O Thanks again for putting out your experience. I tend to believe REAL people over the "experts" on most things!


  2. Lalit said..

    Sir I m suffering from acne rosacea my cheeks get red when I go to sunlight. I can not bear 1 minute of sunlight, what medicine I should persue,, plz help me


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About Alexandra Ayton

Alexandra Ayton is a part-time freelance writer. She combines motherhood and family life with her ongoing interest in alternative health- care and writing.

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