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Rashes

Rashes are often caused by contact with an irritating substance (oil from poison oak or ivy plants, ingredients in cleaning products and cosmetics, chemicals in swimming pools or hot tubs, pollutants in the air and water, etc.). Some have viral causes (such as roseola, rubella, measles), and others appear for no apparent reason. If possible, the cause of a rash should be determined and removed. Homeopathic remedies can be useful in many cases, to soothe the itching, inflammation, and discomfort.

For dosage information, please read the information at the end of this section. See also “Using Homeopathy With Professional Guidance” in What Is Homeopathy?

Anacardium orientale: This remedy is often helpful for rashes that come from poison oak, or other kinds of contact dermatitis. An intensely itching rash with swelling and fluid-filled blisters may appear. Itching is worse from applying heat or contact with hot water.

Apis: When a rash is the result of an allergic reaction and takes the form of hives, or if a rash is very pink and swollen with burning or stinging pain, this remedy may be useful. Discomfort and swelling are relieved by cold applications.

Belladonna: This remedy is useful for conditions with sudden onset that are hot, bright red, and throbbing. Rash may be accompanied by fever.

Bryonia: A bumpy, hot, and dry rash may respond to this remedy. Discomfort may be worse from heat and touch, although applying pressure or lying on the affected side often soothes the itching. If illness accompanies the rash, the person wants to lie completely still and be left alone.

Graphites: Rashes with eruptions that ooze a sticky golden fluid, then crust over, may be relieved with this remedy. Itching is worse from warmth and worse at night.

Ledum palustre: This remedy is indicated for a puffy and swollen rash. Both the swelling and the itching are relieved by cold applications.

Natrum muriaticum: This remedy is often helpful to people with chronic rashes at the margin of the scalp or in the bends of the knees and elbows. The skin is oily in most areas, but the rash looks dry and scaly. Itching is often worse from physical exertion and the person may feel worse from being in the sun. Natrum muriaticum can also help if hives break out during emotional stress, especially grief or romantic disappointment. A person who needs this remedy often has a tendency toward herpes.

Rhus toxicodendron: A blistery rash that burns and itches intensely, and is much improved by applying heat or bathing in hot water, may be relieved by this remedy. The person usually is very restless, wanting to pace or constantly move around.

Sepia: Dry skin with a scaly reddish or brownish rash suggests a need for this remedy. The person may be chilly and better from keeping warm—but getting too warm under covers or clothing, and especially sweating, makes the itching worse.

Sulphur: Red, irritated, itchy, burning rashes that are aggravated by heat and washing may respond to this remedy. The touch of clothing, especially wool, can cause a rash or make it worse. Scratching seems irresistible, but disrupts and irritates the skin. Eruptions may be dry and scaly, or moist and infection-prone.

Urtica urens: Eruptions that resemble nettle-rash, with blotches that sting and burn intensely, may be soothed by this remedy. Scratching makes the symptoms worse. Applying cold or water may aggravate the condition. Rashes that come out from eating shellfish, from being overheated, or along with rheumatism often bring this remedy to mind.

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Homeopathy Dosage Directions

Select the remedy that most closely matches the symptoms. In conditions where self-treatment is appropriate, unless otherwise directed by a physician, a lower potency (6X, 6C, 12X, 12C, 30X, or 30C) should be used. In addition, instructions for use are usually printed on the label.

Many homeopathic physicians suggest that remedies be used as follows: Take one dose and wait for a response. If improvement is seen, continue to wait and let the remedy work. If improvement lags significantly or has clearly stopped, another dose may be taken. The frequency of dosage varies with the condition and the individual. Sometimes a dose may be required several times an hour; other times a dose may be indicated several times a day; and in some situations, one dose per day (or less) can be sufficient.

If no response is seen within a reasonable amount of time, select a different remedy.

For more information, including references, see What is Homeopathy? and Understanding Homeopathic Potencies.

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The information presented in Healthnotes Online is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over-the-counter medication is also available. Consult your physician, nutritionally oriented healthcare practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications.

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