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sublimate, sometimes recommended, must be heedfully used, as we have known them, even when very weak, to irritate the skin violently.
Not at all dangerous, and of good service in rendering the hands soft and smooth, is this perhaps familiar recipe: Take horse-chestnuts, peel and dry them thoroughly in the oven. Pound or grind them into a fine powder. Put a tablespoonful into the wash-water, whenever the hands are rinsed.
Here is another wash which has been deservedly praised, not only for preventing redness of the hands, but for improving the skin, and destroying warts:—
Soak the hands in this for ten or fifteen minutes morning and evening.
The use of "cosmetic gloves," as they are called, has long been known in some countries, and there are ladies who glove themselves as regularly on retiring to bed, as they do on going into the street. These gloves, when designed simply to soften and whiten the hands, are prepared by brushing the inside of a pair of stout kid or dog-skin gloves with the following mixture:
Yelk of two fresh eggs,
Oil of sweet almonds, of each two tablespoonfuls;
Tincture of benzoin
Beat them well together, and keep in a closely corked bottle. The gloves should be freshly painted every night, and the same pair should not be used longer than two weeks.
When some disease of the skin is present, the gloves can be brushed with some more active preparation than that mentioned above.
Gloves made of India-rubber are largely used in perference to those of skin for wearing at night. They confine the perspiration, and thus keep the skin bathed in moist warmth, rendering it softer, whiter, and more delicate. They are also of considerable efficacy in some cutaneous eruption, and for chapped hands.
A clammy moisture of the hands is an annoyance with which some are afflicted. Possibly it is a sign of enfeebled health, but it may occur as a constitutional tendency. The lotion which we have just mentioned, containing muriate of ammonia, does efficient service here, too. So will half a teaspoonful of alum in the water, or rendering it sour with a few drops of aromatic sulphuric acid. For temporary purposes, the hands may be rubbed with French chalk (powdered soapstone), or the "lycopodium" powder, which is the product of a curious Alpine moss.
For "chapped" hands, pure glycerine, well rubbed in several times a day, cannot be improved upon, though sometimes it is necessary to follow up this with wearing gloves of caoutchouc cloth at night. The late
celebrated actress, Madame Vestris, was said to wrap her hands every night in thin slices of fresh meat. This was not nice, nor a particle more efficient than to anoint them with fresh olive oil or pure glycerine, and then, without wiping, draw on the caoutchouc gloves. Fresh, unsalted butter is likewise an admirable ointment, but lard or cold cream, which is often made from coarse, half rancid, but highly scented animal fats, should be shunned.
The hands are subject to a great number of deformities. A French surgeon has recently written a book of nigh three hundred pages on them. That is as much as saying we do not intend to dilate upon them here. In remedying them, it is not enough that the surgeon should seek to re-establish the use of the member. He should also seek to restore its beauty. This is too generally lost sight of. Here, as elsewhere, the claims of cosmetic surgery are apt to be disregarded, to the subsequent annoyance of the patient.
One of the commonest deformities is enlarged joints. Chronic rheumatism and hard work are their parents. There is not much to be done for them.
For warts, however, which are infinitely more common, household remedies are as plenty as blackberries. We tried the following in our young days, prescribed by an old family servant: Steal a piece of fresh meat. Cut it into as many fragments as you have warts. Bury the fragments under a stone. As fast as they
decay, your warts will disappear. Owing to our bad success, and to a due respect for the statutes of this commonwealth concerning misprision of felony, we have not recommended it in our practice. We prefer to touch them repeatedly with chromic acid, or tinctture of iodine (the colorless tincture, which leaves no unsightly stain, and which it is always best to employ on external parts), or with nitrate of silver. With one or other of these means they are sure to take their departure before long, and, curiously enough, as if they were in some occult sympathy, when one goes they usually all go. Another very efficient means is to treat them to a current of electricity daily. When in very great numbers internal remedies must be employed, for which the family physician should be consulted.
HOW TO CURE WARTS.
The nails should be oval in form, pink in color, with a white crescent at their base, and evenly cut a little below the tip of the finger. They should be frequently cleansed with the nail brush, which should be soft, and not stiff and harsh, as most of them are. The thin skin should be pressed away from their roots so as to display the pearly half moon there situated, and, by thus lengthening the oval of the nail, to give the finger a more tapering appearance. Often, too, this little
attention prevents those very painful affections known
as hang nails" or ag nails."
The most elegant hint we can offer concerning the color of the nails is to polish them now and then-not too often. It may be done by rubbing them lengthwise with a soft sponge dipped in emery dust tinged with vermilion or carmine. This lends them a delicate, roseate hue. No one must ever think of scraping them with a knife or a bit of glass, as this may lead to troublesome diseases.
An equally excellent nail powder, and the one commonly sold in the shops, is oxide of tin, perfumed and colored with carmine. A little of it can be rubbed on the nail with a finger of the other hand, or with a piece of chamois leather. It soon renders the surface smooth, bright, and pink, which is not surprising, since this is the substance used to polish tortoise shell and horns.
The school-girl habit of biting the nails must be broken up at once. If in children, rub a little extract of quassia on the finger tips. This is so bitter that they are careful not to taste it twice. Not only the nails, but the beauty of the whole finger and hand, is often forfeited by neglect in this respect.
Sometimes the nails become brittle, crack, and break off readily in irregular pieces. This is a trouble difficult to manage, and demands long medical treatment. Consumption is often accompanied with a deformity