Erysipelas is a bacterial skin infection of the upper layer of the skin. The bacteria causing it is mostly Group A Streptococcus bacterium. Another name for this condition is St. Anthony’s Fire because the rash occurring in it has a fiery appearance. Erysipelas is a skin disorder similar to cellulitis in which an infection occurs in the lower layers of the skin. Use of homeopathic remedies for erysipelas is recommended when the signs and symptoms are mild to moderate in intensity and no complications are present.
- 1 Causes
- 2 Signs and Symptoms
- 3 Complications
- 4 Homeopathic Remedies for Erysipelas
- 4.1 1. Rhus Tox – Top Grade Medicine
- 4.2 2. Belladonna – For Skin Rash with Swelling and Fever
- 4.3 Apis Mellifica – When it is Attended with Marked Swelling
- 4.4 Graphites – When Blisters Discharge Sticky Fluid
- 4.5 Sulphur – For Painful Erysipelas
- 4.6 Lachesis – When it Affects Left Side of Face
- 4.7 Pulsatilla – When it Affects Face, Thighs, Buttocks
- 4.8 Cantharis – For Erysipelas with Blisters
- 4.9 Thuja – For Facial Erysipelas with Swelling
It occurs from entry of bacteria in the skin through some cuts or sores on the skin. The bacteria commonly causing it is Group A Streptococcus bacteria. Cuts on the skin, insect bites or animal bites, ulcers on the skin and surgical incisions are some of the injuries that raises risk of developing this condition. Persons suffering from certain skin conditions like eczema (a condition characterised by red, inflamed, itchy skin), impetigo (contagious, superficial infection of the skin mainly affecting infants and children), athlete’s foot (fungal infection of feet), psoriasis (an autoimmune skin condition in which red, inflamed, itchy scaly patches, forms on the skin) that cause breaks in the skin also makes them prone to erysipelas.
Some other health conditions that increase chances of this infection includes diabetes, issues with blood circulation, improper working of the veins or the lymphatic vessels. Lastly alcoholism, obesity, weak immune system and use of injection of drugs like heroin are some factors raising its risk.
Though it can affect people of any age but is common in infants and elderly people above the age of 60 years.
Signs and Symptoms
Initially before the beginning of the skin rash there occur fever, chills, shivering, fatigue, feeling unwell, loss of appetite, vomiting and headache. It develops within 48hrs of infection. Afterwards the skin gets affected. Swollen patches may occur on the skin. These look shiny and have raised edges. It feels warm, is painful and can also be tender to touch. In severe cases blisters (fluid-filled eruptions) or petechiae (pinpoint red or purple spots) appear on the affected skin area. The skin rash occurs mostly on the face and the legs. In the case of the face, the nose and cheeks are commonly involved. The lymph nodes can also get swollen and lymphedema may occur.
If not treated rightly and in proper time then there is risk of some complications. These includes abscess (pus collection), gangrene (tissue death from loss of blood supply), blood clots, bone infections, joint infection. Next ones are infection in the heart valves, spread of infection to the brain and blood poisoning if infection spreads to the bloodstream.
Homeopathic Remedies for Erysipelas
Homeopathy offers supportive help in managing this condition. Homeopathic medicines help relieve its signs and symptoms. These help to halt further progression of the condition and heal the skin rash. These boost the natural defence mechanism of the body to help fight with the infective agent that is causing it and exclude it from the body. Use of homeopathic medicine is recommended for this condition when the signs and symptoms are mild to moderate in intensity and no complications are present. In such cases, it is advised to use any homeopathic medicine under supervision of a homeopathic doctor and avoid self medication. But in case of severe signs and symptoms or in the presence of any complication, it is strictly advised to take help from conventional mode of treatment.
1. Rhus Tox – Top Grade Medicine
It is a prominently indicated medicine for erysipelas. Firstly, it is helpful when there is skin rash on the face and scalp. The face appears dark red and shiny. Yellow blisters are also present. The rash is itchy and also has a burning, tingling, stinging sensation. The face appears hot. There may be loss of appetite and fever with this. In cases needing it the rash may first appear on the left side of face and then on the right side. Swelling under eyes is present. Next, it is useful when the eruption appears on hands, feet, arms and legs. There may occur small patches of rash or the rash may extend widely where it is required. Swelling may also occur with this. The rash may be attended with itching, smarting, stinging burning sensation. Blisters may arise on inflamed skin having a red and swollen base. The blisters vary in size from pin head to a pea.
2. Belladonna – For Skin Rash with Swelling and Fever
It is a natural medicine prepared from the plant deadly nightshade. It belongs to the family Solanaceae. It is indicated in these cases when swelling occurs with skin rash. The affected skin appears bright red. It is covered with blisters. Fever is present with this. Mostly the skin rash appears on the face where it is needed. The face is red, hot and hard in such cases.
Apis Mellifica – When it is Attended with Marked Swelling
It is an effective medicine for managing cases in which swelling accompanies the skin rash. Swelling is present with red stripes on skin. In cases requiring it, the red, hard swellings occur mostly on legs and sometimes on arms. The swelling may also be most marked under the eyes with erysipelas on one side of the face where it is needed. Next it is suited for cases where the nose or ears are swollen, red. The skin involved is red with a bruised, sore feeling. Burning stinging pain is also a peculiar symptom present in skin rash. Other than these it works well when the rash starts in the right cheek, and then goes across the nose and extends to the left cheek. This medicine is also valuable for cases when rash begins at one eye and goes from right to left side. The face is intensely hot and red, puffy, shiny with this. It may also be sore to touch. Lastly it offers help where the complaint recurs again and again.
Graphites – When Blisters Discharge Sticky Fluid
This medicine works well in these cases when there are blisters on skin that discharge sticky, glutinous fluid. It works best when erysipelas start from the forehead and thereafter spread to the scalp and neck. Apart from this it is also indicated when erysipelas begin in the face and then gradually spread over the whole body.
Sulphur – For Painful Erysipelas
Use of this medicine is recommended for managing painful erysipelas. For using it the pain can be with throbbing, pulsating, shooting or stinging type. A chief characteristic symptom for using it is erysipelas beginning from the right ear and then spreading over the face. Another symptom that calls its use is erysipelas of the face mainly in eyelids, nose, and left sided ear. The erysipelas migrating from place to place also indicates its use. Next symptom where this medicine is indicated is erysipelas in the legs and feet. Its last indicating symptom is large and shining swelling of the fingers.
Lachesis – When it Affects Left Side of Face
This medicine is prominent for managing cases in which rash occurs on the left side of the face. In cases needing it the rash can begin near to the left side of the nose and then extend up and down to the left side face. In some cases the eruption occurs beneath the left eye. This area appears red, swollen and is accompanied with itching. The lower lid is swollen with this. The rash on the face has burning and itching where it is required. Headache may be present along with above symptoms. Other than these Lachesis is indicated when the face is red bloated with heat and swelling that assume purplish hue. Next it is beneficial for cases in which the blisters contain dark coloured fluid. Apart from above open ulcers on the leg on the left side attended with erysipelas also indicates its use. Lastly it is well indicated medicine for managing erysipelas in old people.
Pulsatilla – When it Affects Face, Thighs, Buttocks
It is prepared from a plant named Pulsatilla Nigricans commonly known as wind flower or pasque flower. The family of this plant is ranunculaceae. It is used when erysipelas are present on thighs, buttocks and face. In case of face stinging, pricking pain is present. In such cases peeling of the skin also occurs.
Cantharis – For Erysipelas with Blisters
This medicine is significant to manage cases of erysipelas with blisters. The blisters are large in size where it is required. These may exude much watery matter. Burning sensation and pain is also there in them. Other than this it also works well in cases where skin inflammation is there followed by prickling. Another symptom for using it is inflammation of the dorsum of the nose that spread to both cheeks. This is followed by skin peeling.
Thuja – For Facial Erysipelas with Swelling
It is a natural medicine prepared from fresh twigs of a plant Thuja Occidentalis having the common name Arbor Vitae. This plant belongs to family coniferae. It is indicated for cases in which the face is affected. The face appears red and hot. The burning redness is prominent on the cheeks. The affected skin tends to peel off when washed.