This weeks feature - Skin Diseases

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Skin Diseases 09 - 04 - 2003

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Skin Diseases Warmest greetings, As promised in last week's newsletter, let's examine, today, some common diseases of the skin. The skin is prone to diseases from external and internal causes. Exposure to physical or chemical irritants can cause inflammatory conditions to develop. Contact with vegetable poisons such as that associated with poison ivy can have adverse effects as can sunburn from over exposure to the ultraviolet rays of the sun. However, the most common cause of skin diseases is toxicosis or autointoxication. Even a casual study of the history affecting the skin reveals that man has not made any progress by treating them although he has become more or less expert in the palliation of their symptoms. Throughout history at various times, different cultures have attributed diseases of the skin to many outside agencies. Foe example, several thousand years ago the Hindus thought that the skin diseases where caused by worms which invaded the body and established their breeding ground under the skin. In the bible we read about various skin afflictions but especially about leprosy, which was, apparently, a rather common malady of the times. Moses himself described two forms of leprosy, one being a rather mild form, the other a malignant kind. In Europe, during the Middle Ages and even later, whole people were ravaged many times by fevers and by out breaking of the skin which was called "Plague" or "Black Death". These plagues took huge tolls among the populaces of Athens, Rome and elsewhere, especially in Egypt and Syria. The scythe of the grim reaper made no distinction among class or culture cutting across physical, cultural and class barriers. We can read in the bible about the 10 plagues of Egypt and it is said that God smote Egypt through the hands of Moses and Aaron in order to compel the reigning Pharaoh and the Egyptian people to depart from that country. Today, armed with more knowledge, we can look back on these times and realise that, when the early Israelites wandered over the known face of the earth, that they often lacked proper food and shelter. They were in emotional disarray, dissatisfied, disgruntled and annoyed, not only by the hardships they had to endure, but also by the actions of their friends and neighbours. They were enervated and malnourished. Additionally, these people were often forced to embrace both customs and food which were strange to them. Their food was unsanitised for humans. Living conditions were less than ideal. Their clothing, their person and their surroundings were, in all likelihood, filthy. It is little wonder that they began to develop running sores, skin ulcers, boils, carbuncles, and even more serious skin disorders. In more modern times the word "plague" has been restricted to the bubonic or pneumonic plagues. However, during the last century there have been occurrences of smallpox and similar skin disorders, which were termed "plagues" In fact, Dr Elisabeth's ( the writer of this lesson ) maternal grandmother became a "victim" of smallpox. Her story we will tell you next week. Wishing you all a good week, until next Thursday, The Crazy Nut team. P.S. If you have missed any of the previous articles and would like to read them, please visit our archives at

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