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| Skin Problem: Blistered Hands and Feet |
Answered by: Susan Eagles
Question from: Terri
Posted on: November 29, 2004
I have a terrible problem with my skin. It affects my entire body, but the worst of is is on my hands and feet. First my skin will turn red and then it will start to blister. The blisters are usually really big. Often the blisters will become infected. My hands and feet will also swell to the point where the split open. I have had as many as twenty splits on one hand, and the pain I have from this condition is so bad that is completely unbearable. I cannot even use my hands when they get bad, and when my feet are bad, I leave a trail of blood with every step because with every step they split and bleed. If I sweat, the blisters come within minutes, If I just touch a potato or a carrot, the same thing happens and in the summer it becomes a constant condition. If my hands are even near heat, even warm water, they feel like they have been set on fire. The winters are bad, but not even close to the summer. Susan I have Dermasone ointment, an antifungal cream, and an antibiotic cream, but the only thing that helps this condition is 50mg of Prednisone daily. I cannot keep taking Prednisone like this, so I was wondering if there is an herbal remedy I can take that will do the same thing as Prednisone. Please Susan, I am so desparate for relief, can you help me?
In herbal medicine, we donīt use only a herbal anti-inflammatory as a substitute for Prednisone.
Skin conditions are a reflection of what is going on inside the body, so must be treated internally as well as externally. They must also be treated holistically, nourishing the organs that are involved in eliminating body wastes. I recommend that you contact a clinical or medical herbalist, or a naturopath in your area, who has successfully treated skin conditions. A qualified practitioner will do a thorough health asssessment to identify the body systems that need support in your individual case. The treatment can take several months, and the remedies will probably change as treatment progresses.
There are many possible causes of skin problems. Allergies are a common cause. The best test for food allergies is to eliminae the food from your diet for a period of at least one month. I suggest that you eliminate all dairy products, alcohol and yeasts (as in bread). You can use rice milk in place of dairy. Goatīs milk and goatīs milk products usually do not cause allergy problems. Whole brown rice is a good substitute for bread products. Usually, once the skin has healed, the eliminated foods can be brought slowly back into your diet.
The skin is an important excretory organ, along with the kidneys, lungs and bowels. When there is a problem with any one of these 4 organs, stress is put on the other 3 organs. In treating skin conditions holistically, all of these organs are supported.
Some herbs that are particularly useful in treating skin conditions internally are:
- blood cleansers: nettles, red clover, cleavers, burdock
- antimicrobials: garlic, calendula flowers
You can make a tea by combining dried nettles, red clover and calendula flowers (available at health food stores) in equal proportions. Use two teaspoons of the herbal combination per cup of boiling water. Cover and steep for 15 minutes. Drink 3 times daily. A skin condition can become slightly worse at the beginning of treatment, due to the excretion of the offending toxins through the skin.
Externally, skin healing herbs include aloe vera, chickweed, comfrey and calendula flowers. A good health food store should be able to help you find a suitable ointment that will nourish and soothe your skin. Note that skin will not heal if it is dry, so you must keep it moist.
High stress often exacerbates a skin problem. The nervous system is closely connected to the skin. Often, a skin problem begins with an extremely stressful or emotional event. Healing the skin starts with looking at healing the nervous disruption caused by this event.