The young gentleman in his early thirties was a little self-conscious about his looks. He had been plagued by severe acne of the face, a condition diagnosed as tuberous acne, although one could argue that is was really cystic acne. You could see significant acne scaring over both his cheeks, chin and all over his face, even the nose. He was otherwise in excellent health. He kept in excellent physical shape with regular yoga exercises and an all organic, vegetarian diet.
He had come to America with his family from the Punjab region of India. His father, while keeping up his ties to the Sikh community, had raised him to observe a deeply religious life, however outside of the constraints of any organized religion. Though raised in the Sikh religion, he was dressed in comfortable Western clothing and attended regular Krishnamurti dialogues.
“I have had this ever since puberty. I break out in regular intervals, about once a month.”
Homeopathy is a scientific medical treatment that takes the whole person into account in selecting a suitable medicine. During a consultation the homeopath also explores if any emotional or psychological symptoms that may accompany a complaint.
“Have you noticed any relationship with the acne symptoms and your state of mind?” I questioned.
He did not see any connection. Even after exploring the minor stresses he suffered in his life there was nothing to tell that would be of interest.
We explored in-detail the type of pimples he would get. They erupted about once a month, coming to a head, with whitish pus forming, then receding without suppurating. After they healed they left an ugly scar.
His health history was uneventful. Unlike most Americans who suffer from acne, he had never attempted any of the risky suppressive drugs. For example, Accutane, a common acne drug offered by conventional dermatologists, can lead to organ damage and psychosis.
In his case, one significant symptom was the regularity with which the acne appeared. Given its onset at puberty and regular monthly appearance suggested a hormonal link, something quite common with acne.
I questioned further. After taking his whole case I considered Silica or Calcarea silicata likely remedies. He had already tried Silica as part of a low decimal potency combination remedy, marketed as “Schuessler cell salt”. While it had helped somewhat, it never significantly improved the condition.
Sometimes remarks beginning with “by the way” or the things saved till the end of a consultation that provide the most significant clues for the homeopath.
Our conversation finally came around to his sex life, an area that was avoided so far. He had a healthy sex drive however he was not sexually active. He was unmarried and felt the internal conflict presented by natural sexual energies and his objection to masturbation. He felt a physical sexual pressure that increased gradually over a period of about a month and would finally come to a climax in a nightly emission, often accompanied by erotic dreams. The following day his face would erupt with acne and he was left feeling somewhat despondent and weak.
I chose Kali bromatum, a remedy that has a link to ailments arising from lack of sexual fulfillment. In the homeopathic materia medica, Kali bromatum lists “pustular acne” and the following characteristic symptoms:
- “nocturnal emissions, with amorous dreams and erections.”
- “nocturnal emissions and nervous disturbances growing out of unsatisfied sexual desire.”
The next consultation confirmed that there had been almost no outbreak of acne. After several months of Kali bromatum in gradually increasing decimal potencies the acne disappeared completely and permanently. Years later, he credits his homeopathic treatment with his permanent recovery.