Measles is an infectious viral disease that occurs most often
in the late winter and spring. It begins with a fever that lasts
for a couple of days, followed by a cough, runny nose, and conjunctivitis
(pink eye). A rash starts on the face and upper neck, spreads down
the back and trunk, then extends to the arms and hands, as well
as the legs and feet. After about five days, the rash fades the
same order it appeared.
Measles is highly contagious. Infected people
are usually contagious from about 4 days before their rash starts
to 4 days afterwards. The measles virus resides in the mucus in
the nose and throat of infected people. When they sneeze or cough,
droplets spray into the air and the droplets remain active and contagious
on infected surfaces for up to two hours
Measles symptoms and signs appear 10 to 12 days after exposure
to the virus. They typically include:
- Dry cough
- Runny nose
- Sensitivity to light
- Tiny white spots with bluish-white centers found inside the
mouth on the inner lining of the cheek, called Koplik's spots.
Appear 2 to 3 days after initial symptoms.
- A skin rash made up of large, flat blotches
that often flow into one another
Measles usually begins with a mild to moderate fever, accompanied
by other symptoms, such as a persistent cough,
runny nose, inflamed eyes (conjunctivitis) and sore throat. Then
a fever spikes, often as high as 104 or 105 F (40 or 40.6 C). At
the same time, a red blotchy rash appears, usually on the
face, along the hairline and behind the ears. This slightly
itchy rash rapidly spreads downward to the chest and back and, finally,
to the thighs and feet. After about a week, the rash fades in the
same sequence that it appeared.
Homeopathic Remedies & Homeopathy Treatment for Measles
Aconite is one of the first remedies for measles; that is, while
the case is presumed to be one of measles, and a hard croupy cough
are present. Ferrum phosphoricum in many respects is similar to
Aconite, and will take its place where restlessness and anxiety
are wanting. It is somewhat questionable whether Aconite will ever
be strictly indicated in any disease depending on a poisoned or
infected condition of the blood, since in its pathogenesis it does
not show any evidence of such condition; however, it may be indicated
in the catarrhal irritation, sneezing , etc., before the case can
be fully determined to be measles. In catarrhal conditions Aconite
ceases to be of use after exudation has taken place, and so in measles;
it would cease to be of use after it modified the fever, and the
eruption appears and the disease is diagnosed as measles. Ferrum
phosphoricum will perhaps be the better remedy if there be chest
involvement together with the catarrhal symptoms.
Gelsemium is, on the whole, a more useful remedy in commencing measles
than Aconite ; that is, it is oftener indicated; there is much chilliness,
the fever is a prominent symptoms, the child is dumpish, apathetic,
does not want to be disturbed ; there is watery coryza which excoriates
the upper lip and nose, and there is harsh, barking, croupy cough,
with chest soreness and hoarseness. Gelsemium, too, has an action
on the skin and may be continued with benefit after the eruption
has appeared; there is an itching and redness of the skin, and a
decidely measly eruption produced by it. It has some aching in the
limbs, and may be compared with Dulcamara, but seldom be mistaken
for that remedy. Gelsemium has more coryza, Dulcamara more aching.
Both may be useful in an undeveloped eruption ; Gelsemium when there
is pain at the base of the brain , high fever and passive brain
symptoms ; Dulcamara when occurring from damp, cool air, rainy weather
or sudden changes. Belladonna may be indicated in measles when sore
throat is present and the cerebral excitement indicating that remedy,
together with moisture and heat; but it corresponds more closely
to scarlet fever.
When the catarrhal symptoms greatly predominate Euphrasia may be
used. Acrid tears stream out of the eyes, with a red and swollen
conjunctiva. The cough is dry and very hoarse, and there is an intense
throbbing headache which is relieved on the appearance of the eruption.
The excoriating discharge from the eyes will distinguish from Allium
cepa. The photophobia of Euphrasia is worse in artificial light
, and a brightness of the eyes despite the catarrhal condition is
A little later in the disease Pulsatilla symptoms may make their
appearance. The fever has subsided or entirely disappeared. There
is coryza and profuse lachrymation. The cough is still dry at night,
but loosens a little in the daytime. The child sits up to cough.
There is much predisposition to earache and sometimes sickness at
the stomach. Where there is catarrh of the digestive canal and diarrhea
Pulsatilla will be found useful. The eyes agglutinate and the discharge
is purulent. Kali bichromicum is so similar to Pulsatilla in many
respects that it may be mentioned here, as the two remedies seem
to differ in intensity only. Kali bichromicum has pustules developing
on the cornea. The throat is swollen and there is catarrhal deafness.
It produces an eruption which closely resembles measles. It comes
in very well after Pulsatilla when the patient develops more intense
symptoms. Measles associated with ear symptoms and swollen glands
especially call for Kali bichromicum, and it is one of our best
remedies for laryngeal affections, with a hoarse, dry,croupy cough.
Dr. Jousset recommends Viola odorata for the cough. Sulphur is a
great measles remedy. It is useful where the skin is dusky and the
rash does not come out, or is purplish when it does appear.
In measles which do not run a favourable course, in malignant type
or black or haemorrhagic measles we have two or three important
remedies. The first of these is Arsenicum. There will be sinking
of strength, diarrhea,delirium, restlessness and debility, petechiae
and general typhoid symptoms. The stools are particularly offensive
and exhausting. Arsenicum may save the patient in these conditions.
Dr. Gaudy, of Brussels, considers Arsenicum almost specific in measles.
He says that its action is little short a marvelous. It is prophylactic
and curative, and one of the best remedies to remove all sequelae
of the disease. It corresponds to the insidious phenomena of severe
epidemics of measles. Crotalus may also be indicated in the form
known as black measles. Also Baptisia, with its foetor and prostration,
may prove useful. Lachesis is the fourth remedy for these conditions.
The individual symptom of each remedy will differentiate them, but
all four should be studied carefully in these low conditions of
When the eruption does not come out properly, or when it disappears
suddenly and grave symptoms appear, there are a few remedies which
play a most important role. Stramonium is one of these. In a case
calling for it you will find these symptoms: non-appearance of the
rash; the child is hot, restless, and on falling asleep cries out
as if frightened ; there are convulsive movements and the face is
red. Cuprum is indicated in convulsion due to recession of the eruption.
It has the same terror on awakening, but its symptoms are move violent
than those of Stramonium and the face instead of being red is more
apt to be bluish. Zincum has the same awakening from sleep as if
terrified, but with Zincum there is much weakness, the child seems
too weak to develop the eruption. Bryonia is useful when chest symptoms
appear upon a retardation or a recession of the eruption. Too slow
development of the eruption with chest symptoms calls for it. Antimonium
tartaricum is another remedy for retarded or repelled eruption.
There will be great difficulty in breathing, rattling of mucus,
bluish or purplish face, drowsiness and twitching.
This remedy comes in well when the rash appears late, or runs an
irregular course, and when inflammatory diseases of the chest accompany.
The cough is dry and painful , there is soreness of the limbs and
body, stitches in the chest, etc. Spasms from suppressed measles
when the child is seized with great lassitude and debility, twitching
of muscles or of single limbs or if the spasms are preceded by deep
and violent coughing and oppressed respiration. For the chest complications
a number of remedies may come into use. Sticta, if there be present
an incessant dry and spasmodic cough, worse when lying down and
a night ; it is a teasing, titillating cough. Phosphorus with its
dry, exhausting cough with oppressed breathing. Rumex with its short
tickling bronchial cough worse from cold air. Drosera with its whooping-like
cough. All these may be indicated in measles. Sabadilla is the remedy
when among the catarrhal symptoms there is violent sneezing attended
with a frontal headache. It will corresponds to some epidemics and
should not be overlooked.