The Scurf Rim
It will be noticed that, normally, the various excretory products are few and simple in form. It is the function of micro-organisms, including microzyma, bacteria and parasites, to reduce the highly complex acids, ptomains, leukomains and xanthins of normal and abnormal metabolism into simple compounds suitable for elimination through the excretory organs.
In this connection I refer the reader to the pathogenic theory of inflammation, Volume I, Chapter IX, according to which inflammation is an effort of Nature to reduce or oxidize through bacterial action highly complex albuminous waste (pathogen) into simpler forms more easily eliminated.
The healthy skin excretes considerable amounts of carbon dioxide and numerous other systemic poisons in the forms of gases and salts. It does, therefore, a large amount of vicarious work for lungs and kidneys. If the action of the skin is inhibited by sudden chilling, pathogenic obstruction or by other enervating, paralyzing influences, then the internal organs of elimination, in addition to their own, have to do the work of the skin and become congested and overworked, a condition which results in acute catarrhal elimination. That is, the internal membranous linings endeavor to eliminate the pathogenic materials in the form of mucous excretion. But the most important function of the skin, on which depends life itself, is that of heat radiation in connection with the heat regulating centers in the medulla and probably in the pituitary gland. If by burns, scalds or by other causes one fourth of the cutaneous surface has become inactive or is destroyed, death is the inevitable result.
We can now understand why the scurf rim, in a measure, stands for what we call the scrofulous constitution because it betokens an inactive, weakened skin system, suppression of hereditary taints, weakened circulation, pathogenic encumbrances, cold extremities, pale, clammy skin and therefore a tendency to chronic catarrhal conditions, all of which prepare the congenial soil for tuberculosis in later life.
This brings out in full relief the immense importance in the cure of diseases of the nude air, sun and light baths, cold water treatment, massage, neurotherapy, of porous or no underwear, light clothing, nude sleeping, out of door sleeping, etc.
Heavy, dense clothing alone is sufficient to enervate and suppress the natural eliminative activity of the skin, because it prevents free ventilation and keeps the body bathed day and night in its own poisonous exhalations. This causes and aggravates a multitude of catarrhal ailments and acid diseases.
Often we hear remarks like the following: "I cannot understand why my face is full of blotches, pimples and eruptions when my body is perfectly pure and clean."
There is no mystery to this very common phenomenon. The face in such cases has to do the work for the rest of the cutaneous surface because coming in contact with light, air, rain and cold, the face is covered by the only piece of skin on the body that is healthy and capable of active elimination.
If these blemished ones would expose their bodies as freely as their hands and face to the health-giving, stimulating influences of air, light and water, elimination would become normal and general all over the body, and the complexion would soon clear up and become as pure and beautiful as that of a child. This we constantly prove in our work. Nature Cure is therefore the best and most rational of all cosmetics.
As explained in a previous chapter on density--dark discolorations, signs and spots stand for lack of blood, sluggish circulation, chronic catarrhal conditions and destruction of tissues in the corresponding parts and organs of the body; therefore the dark scurf rim is the sign of an enervated, vitiated skin, of poor surface circulation and of defective elimination.
Anatomists have observed the scurf rim and attribute it to a weak, relaxed and shrivelled condition of the outer rim of the iris and to actual perforations of the surface layer, but they fail to give the causes of this abnormal condition. Fig. 8, page 66, is copied from a standard work on anatomy. It shows the scurf rim (A), nerve rings (contraction grooves) (B), itch spots (C), sympathetic wreath (D) and chronic destructive lesions (E).
Pathogen and Skin Action
The question may be asked, how is it that persons without a scurf rim often suffer from defective skin action?
In my explanations of pathogen obstruction in the capillary circulation I have brought out the fact that elimination through the skin may be diminished and checked by precipitation of uric acid or pathogen in the surface capillaries, the result of which in extreme cases would be complete cessation of elimination through the skin, and cessation of heat radiation.
Weakening or suppression of the surface circulation by uric acid deposits in the capillaries (collemia) may occur in people with otherwise good skin action as a result of faulty diet or disease of the kidneys. The degree of colloid or pathogen precipitation in the surface blood vessels may be accurately determined in the following manner by the reflux test:
Press a finger tip on the skin. If the white patch thus produced fills up with blood immediately, say in three or four half-seconds, then the circulation is active and normal. If, however, the reflux of blood into the white patch occupies from four to twenty half-seconds, then the circulation is impeded by colloid or mucoid precipitates. The degree of occlusion can be estimated by the length of the reflux.
How to Efface the Scurf Rim
Massing of the scurf rim in certain segments of the outer iris is always a sign of weakness and morbid encumbrance in the corresponding part of the body. If the scurf rim is very marked in the lower half of the iris and if the upper part, especially in the region of the brain, shows the whitish signs and clouds of inflammatory conditions, this is an indication that the circulation in the cutaneous surface and in the extremities is weak and sluggish and that as a consequence the inner blood pressure, especially in heart, lungs and brain, is abnormally high. (Fig. 13, page 100)
This may mean cold extremities, sluggish circulation in the portal system (stomach, bowels, liver and spleen), swollen veins on the legs, hemorrhoids, neuralgias, toothaches, colds, and catarrhs of the throat, lung and nose, and high blood pressure or congestion in the heart, lungs and brain.
From this it is apparent that in order to cure those various ills it is necessary to re-establish the normal activity of the skin, and this is best accomplished by the nude air baths, cold water baths, light, porous or no underwear, massage, neurotherapy and by a low protein diet free from pathogenic materials.
"But," I hear you say, "I cannot stand cold water. I might just as well die. Mr. So-and-So may stand it, but it would certainly kill me. Unless I wear the warmest of clothing I freeze to-death." Not so, Madam! Keeping warm is not a matter of piling on clothes, but of good skin action and reaction. We cannot make a weak arm strong by carrying it tied up in a sling. We must exercise it. We cannot make a weak, enervated skin strong and active by coddling it and by burying it under piles of dense, heavy underwear and clothes. People come to us in the middle of summer wearing one or two thick suits of underwear, and then are shivering and catching cold in every passing breath of air.
A few weeks of cold water treatment, light, sun and air baths, massage and neurotherapy bring new life and blood into the surface, and the skin takes on the pink and rosy hue of life. Snakelike, these patients shed skin after skin of underwear, chest protectors, woolen stockings, gloves, overcoats, and the dead surface cuticle of their bodies, and then begin to enjoy contact with the life-giving elements. Like the Indian they can say, "My body all face." The cuticle of their bodies has become as active, alive and immune to heat and cold as that of their faces.
Many patients who came to us in such a weakened, sensitive condition are now taking regularly every day in the crisp January and February air nude air baths. They do this not because we advise them to do so, for we refrain from prescribing such heroic treatment, but because they enjoy the sport.
Regeneration of the skin under a natural regimen is accompanied by gradual decrease and often by a complete disappearance of the scurf rim. When the skin becomes active and alive, fine, white lines become visible in the dark rim and these broaden out gradually into light patches.
Since the scurf rim usually results from suppressive treatment and weakening, enervating influences which produce chronic conditions, it belongs as a sign in the iris to the third stage of encumbrance.