Lüder Jachens, Brigitte Roesler, Christoph Schempp

Last update: 05.04.2016

Skin diseases count among the most frequent diagnoses made by general practitioners. In the skin of a human being, a wide range of influences from the environment, from within the organism and from the psyche are being reflected. Dermatology benefits from the concept of anthroposophic medicine that enables a holistic perspective of the skin, seen within the context of the organism as a whole and at different levels.

Human existence with its four planes of being can be observed in detail in the skin. Human individuality, and thus the spiritual part of our existence, is connected to the warmth of the blood. In the changing perfusion of the capillary body (stratum papillare of the dermis) that can be indirectly perceived by the observing eye in the skin reddening and turning pale. The soul plane is associated with the nerves and the sensory organs. The latter are so ubiquitous in the skin that the skin is primarily a sensory organ. The innervation makes the skin awake and sensitive. Nervous stimulation can lead to “chicken skin”, for example, whereas nervous hyperactivity can lead to pruritus. Vital functions can be found in the formation of secretions in glands: in the skin, these are the perspiratory and sebaceous glands. A well-developed perspiratory capacity and seborrhoea in the skin of a human being are thus testament to the existence of sufficient vitality. Nutritional processes and moving substance flow in the tissue constitute the purely physical aspects of human existence. Of course, this aspect is represented in the skin as well.

The threefolding of the human organism into the neurosensory system, the system of metabolism and limbs and the rhythmic system can also be observed in the skin. Neurosensory functions and the necrotic processes that they induce, as well as processes of biochemical differentiation (keratin and intercellular lipids), are located mainly in the epidermis. Metabolic processes are predominantly active in the secretion formation in the perspiratory and sebaceous glands in the lower dermis as well as in the active lipogenesis and lipolysis processes in the subcutaneous adipose tissue. The centre of the skin can be found in the papillary body of the upper dermis with its capillary perfusion and numerous sensory organelles. Imbalances in the mutually polar relationship between the neurosensory system and the system of metabolism and limbs can lead to the development of disease tendencies. Accordingly, excessive neurosensory activity in the skin leads to pruritus and hardening tendencies, whereas excessive metabolic activity leads to inflammation and dissolution. These insights into larger contexts enable an expanded perspective of skin diseases as well as new therapeutic approaches.


Research news

Phase IV trial: Kalium phosphoricum comp. versus placebo in irritability and nervousness 
In a new clinical study, Kalium phosphoricum comp. (KPC) versus placebo was tested in 77 patients per group. In a post-hoc analysis of intra-individual differences after 6 weeks treatment, a significant advantage of KPC vs. placebo was shown for characteristic symptoms of nervous exhaustion and nervousness (p = 0.020, p = 0.045 respectively). In both groups six adverse events (AE) were assessed as causally related to treatment (severity mild or moderate). No AE resulted in discontinuation in treatment. KPC could therefore be a beneficial treatment option for symptomatic relief of neurasthenia. The study has been published open access in Current Medical Research and Opinion

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