Jason, 17, rarely missed school; he was a Junior in high school. He loved school and was looking forward to college in 2 years. It was one fateful day while looking at a college that started it all. He had been playing around in a park after viewing a school he wanted to attend. He climbed a tree and slipped, falling to the ground. Luckily, his only injury was scuffed hands.

The next day, he noticed a white, patchy, flaky rash on his hands. Initially his parents thought it was a reaction to something in the tree bark. A couple of days later the rash appeared on his feet, then his head, chest and everywhere else except his calves. The dryness of the skin caused tightness across his arms and upper shoulders making it impossible to raise his arms above his head. The skin was very irritated, red and itching.

But his main complaint was the intense burning pain that accompanied the rash. It was because of that severe burning that Jason was unable to go to school. The pain was so severe that he had to jump in an oatmeal and tea bath to quell the pain—nothing else helped. The attacks of pain occurred 4 – 5 times each day. He went to the Emergency Room and was prescribed Benadryl for the itching.

After a week, he saw his primary care physician who checked his blood for infection. When the tests were negative, Jason was referred to a dermatologist who did a biopsy and diagnosed him with Pityriasis Rubra Pilaris.

Pityriasis Rubra Pilaris (PRP) is a skin condition characterized by severe scaling patches of skin with itching and redness. The cause, according to medicine, is unknown.

The standard treatments for PRP are drugs designed to decrease the itching and flaking, and special soaps and shampoos to reduce the flaking. As these drugs have severe side effects, and have to be used for 1 – 5 years to achieve “remission” (which often does not occur even after 5 years of use), many people opt to avoid the treatments and seek natural means.

Jason’s parents took him to a chiropractor who often recommended natural supplements. Jason was given a supplement regimen. When that was ineffective after 3 months, Jason was brought to see me (the chiropractor had found my previous article about PRP on the internet).

Jason was VERY red—lobster red—and flaking from virtually head-to-toe. The inflammation and redness were worse on the waist and arms. He was also having flaking, peeling skin, worse on the arms and face. His skin was warm to the touch. The only place he didn’t have the PRP rash was on the back of his calves, but there was a red, prickly type rash there. His eyes were glassy and discharging.

He looked miserable.

According to his mother, Jason used to be out-going, sociable, and wasn’t affected too much by troubling experiences (he took everything in stride). Now, he was withdrawn, tired and anti-social, preferring to sit home and be alone.

Aside from the Benadryl and baths, nothing made him feel better; however his mother stated he refused to wear a shirt since developing the rash. Worse from showering, perspiring, heat, and in the breeze or air because it made his skin drier. He did confirm that putting on a shirt or even touch made things worse; he felt worse in the morning on waking and in the cold.

He maintained a strict Palo-Diet that the chiropractor put him on. This diet consisted of being grain-free, dairy-free and sugar-free. All foods were close to the earth. He disliked cabbage and coffee. He felt like he was eating enough to keep him satisfied; he has not lost any weight.

Jason stated he missed being able to go to school and see his friends. He had been on the golf team but has not been able to participate because of the skin tightness in his upper arms and back.

He wasn’t on any medical drugs except the Benadryl as needed, which he took around-the-clock to decrease the itching. He was on a variety of supplements as recommended by the chiropractor. My main concern from the list was the excessive dose of vitamin A (yielding 25,000 IU). The RDA for adult males is 5,000 IU. Toxicity symptoms are often seen in the skin and eyes; it can cause liver damage too. I told Jason to stop the vitamin A and suggested he get his liver checked for toxicity. Even though the PRP does affect the appearance of the eyes, I felt Jason’s eye symptoms were a result of too much vitamin A

With most of those who have come to me with PRP, there had been an emotional trigger that had started it all. But I found none of that with Jason. He had a fright from falling from the tree, but he chuckled about it and said it was “just being stupid”. There seemed to be no emotional trauma. He had been excited about the college he had visited. He was not afraid to be leaving home in 2 years.

The only possible mental connection was that he would be without a car during his first year. To him, a car meant freedom. But he was hesitant about being in a car anyway, he stated, because he had just had 2 car accidents 6 months earlier, and they were 3 weeks apart. One he was a passenger; the other the driver. He still has some residual low back pain.

As an emotional shift probably didn’t start the PRP for Jason, I looked at the sensations: burning, itching, pain. The intensity of his symptoms led me to the Araceae plant family. As he had continued symptoms with a skin disorder, I chose the Typhoid Miasm.

The Araceae family has these sensations as experienced by Jason: burning, smarting, irritating, rawness, feeling exposed, stinging.

The remedy I gave Jason was Arum triphyllum. I also recommended Cantharis as needed to decrease the burning, and mineral oil to be applied to the rash to decrease some of the dryness. I provided the school with a letter to allow them to work with Jason for home schooling until his symptoms settled.

After the first dose, Jason said he felt better. So he tried a second dose; he felt severe burning pain again. With homeopathy, if there is improvement (or worsening) after a dose, you are not to repeat it. The general feeling with most people, however, is that if one dose helped, another will help more—that isn’t the case with homeopathy.

I recommended a glass of milk to inactivate the second dose of the Arum, then to not re-dose until things improved. A few days later he felt well enough to take another dose of the Arum.

A week later most of Jason’s rash was resolving; Jason was happy with the healing and was even able to go the prom! His back and chest were almost back to normal skin; just a few spots remained that needed healing. The waist was improved significantly. There was less redness on his face, arms and feet but still some itching and flaking. His legs were the worst but only had occasional burning. Eyes were back to normal, with just some flaking around them. Head was still flaking. Energy was improved. Liver function tests were normal but showed elevated levels of vitamin A still.

Jason returned to school after being absent for the week. He also attended golf practice as the tightness in his arms and upper back had decreased.

As he was healing well, I told him to stop the Arum unless his symptoms stopped improving.

A month later he was still improving. The only areas of redness now were on his legs and those were intermittent. He still had some flaking on his neck, eyelids, ears, scalp, abdomen and legs. Hands were dry and itching, but that too was intermittent. He took Benadryl rarely now. He no longer had burning of the skin or the pain. He had not used the Cantharis in “some time”. He was very pleased to be healing.

I changed his remedy to Sulphur to help move the rest of the rash out. The Arum was no longer indicated because he no longer had the burning, itching and rawness that he originally had. If the symptoms don’t indicate the remedy, then it won’t work.

A month later Jason stated he was almost completely healed—he stated the rash was “90% gone”. He had no itching or flaking. Any areas of redness were now very intermittent and were just in a couple of areas. Dandruff was almost all gone. Still a little dryness on his palms. His emotional outlook was good.

And he had gotten his “dream job” for the summer—working at a golf course.

The rash completely disappeared with no return by the end of the summer. Jason returned to school on schedule for his senior year, looking forward to going to college after that.

Best of luck to you Jason.

Best wishes,
Dr. Ronda Behnke
Homeopathic Centers of America

Disclaimer: The information provided by Dr. Ronda Behnke is for educational purposes only. It is important that you not make health decisions or stop any medication without first consulting your personal physician or health care provider.

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Ronda Behnke is a distinguished practitioner of Classical Homeopathy and Naturopathy. As co-founder of The Homeopathic Centers of America, Dr. Behnke passes on what she has learned through her seminars, articles, books and when working with individuals. Among her clients, she is known for her exceptional insight and non-judgmental presence. You can contact Dr. Behnke via the website www.MyHCA.org or by calling 920-558-9806. "When it’s time to heal, call me…I will listen to you."