A 45-year-old male consulted me on 15th June 2017 for fissures and deep cracks in both the soles of his feet that had been present for 3 years. They were gradually increasing in number. He had taken allopathic and ayurvedic treatment, and also local applications without much relief. The affected skin appeared hard with deep cuts and a blackish discoloration around the wound. It was painful to touch.
When asked about the effect this problem had on him, he explained that if he has difficulty in walking, it would hinder him from going to work. He did not like taking leave from work very often.
His skin was worse during the winter; the cracks and fissures increased. He felt better with hot oil applications, as they gave temporary relief. His skin softens temporarily but then again becomes hard the next day. Water caused burning in the area. In his observation, his skin worsens after consumption of alcohol.The patient was accompanied by his wife children. He did not speak very much and the conversation was mainly led by his wife. She explained that the skin of both his soles became hard and later turned black in color after which it began to crack. There was no itching, but he had pain on account of the cracks. The same phenomenon took place in his hands but it was not as severe. There was no history of diabetes. His fissures gave him pain especially while he was walking and when he put his shoes on to walk.
His wife said that he was a shy, reserved and soft-spoken person. He did not like conflict and arguments. He avoided situations that led to fights. At his office, he accepted that there were false accusations about him without arguing, for the sake of avoiding conflict.
He worries about trivial things and is more anxious than his wife about his daughter. He was reluctant to send her to study in another town. He was always worried about his children, their safety and whether or not they would reach home on time or if they were ill. He was anxious before commencing any journey and he would repeatedly check the ticket in fear of missing the train.
He was very attached to his mother. He was very concerned about her as she had been unwell lately. This was playing in his head all the time. He was brought up by his mother single-handedly and therefore he had a lot of affection for her. His mother had provided all the love and support to him in absence of his father. Of late, he had nightmares where he sees something bad happening to his mother. He wakes up startled with perspiration all over.
As a child, he was shy. He was afraid of the dark and startled at sudden noise. He had fears of appearing in public and also speaking before people. He had dreams of ghosts and would often wake up with a start.
He craved sweets and alcohol, but alcohol aggravated his complaint so he abstained from it.
In this case we see some characteristic symptoms that represent the entire picture of the patient:
- Skin thick hard indurated with cracks and deep cuts and fissures
- Winter aggravates
- Alcohol desires and also aggravates
- Hot oil ameliorates
- Timid, shy
- Anxiety  over trifles, family members, ill health, fights, conflicts
- As a child, Fear of dark and startling with noise
- Attachment to mother and anxiety about her health
On repertorizing the above symptoms we get:
(Mac Repertory- Complete 2015 Edition)
When looking at this repertorization, we must keep in mind that the patient is very attached to his mother and has dreams of losing her. He also has starting from sudden noise with fears of the dark and ghosts. This gives us a hint towards Row 2 of the periodic table.
The main theme of ‘Row 2’ as described by Dr. Sankaran can be compared to the stages of fetal life where in the womb where we see the issue of ‘Birth & Separation’. As we move from left to right in the Row, the process is from attachment to detachment from the mother’s womb. We see issues like reaction to sudden noise and panic, sudden danger or violence and unexpected situations. The main issue is any threat to fetal life. In-utero the fetus is provided with protection and has a fairly stable life; any unexpected situation or danger may pose tremendous turmoil or fear.
When looking at row 2 more closely, we see ‘Carbon’ in the center, where the experience is that of security, comfort and stability like inside the womb. We also see starting from sudden noise in Carbon along with a lot of fears, like that of darkness, ghosts etc.
At the same time we also need to find a remedy that has a tendency to deep cracks and fissures where the complaints worsen in the winter.
We know ‘Petroleum’ is a carbon compound and is a well known remedy for skin complaints, especially cracks and fissures with an aggravation mainly in the winter.
The patient received Petroleum 200 twice daily for 3 days followed by Petroleum LM 5 one dose daily for 1 month.
Follow-up on 5th August 2017
There was a 40 – 50% improvement in the patient’s complaint. The skin hardness, fissures and pain all had reduced in both soles of the feet.
The patient reported that the cracks in both soles had completely cleared. There was a very minimal amount remaining on one foot, which cleared in the next month of treatment.
Follow-up on 31st October 2017