Filed under: Skin Care.
The use of external agents for the treatment of skin complaints has gone on from time immemorial. There are very few substances that have not been employed in this way, and the old herbal books are full of such recipes. All kinds of leaves were used in this manner; fruits were pulped up and applied, and the same was done with various vegetables. It is true to say that there is not a fruit or vegetable that was not supposed to have some special healing virtue, which, when used on the ailments of the skin, would exercise some miraculous curative power. Fresh blood, manure, cobwebs, among many other things, have been employed in such treatment.Many of the ointments and external applications which are used today have their origin in these primitive notions of the skin and its diseases. The conception that lay at the back of these methods was that healing power existed in things outside the body and that unless they were applied there was no other way of healing. The fact that the body was a self-regulating and self-healing organism was a concept that was not appreciated until more careful study and observation had been made of the various diseases – when, indeed, our minds were freed from the notion that some evil force lay behind all disease.With our long history of belief that disease can be cured by the use of external agents it is not easy for us to free our minds of such a concept, and that is the reason why so many people still cling so tenaciously to the thought that ointments and the like axe necessary in the treatment of skin diseases. They find it very hard to believe, in spite of the advance of scientific knowledge, that the treatment of disease may be placed on a rational basis. Because of their misplaced faith in external cures they lose sight of the fact that without its own inherent healing power and immunity the body would be unable to adapt itself to the forces that constantly assail it, and if we had to be responsible for the innumerable minor cuts and abrasions we should be spending all our time trying to heal them. The same fact applies to skin complaints. The body has within itself the power to heal them; what we have to do is to build up the general health of the system so- that the healing may be carried out.