페이지 이미지
PDF
ePub

palatably done up by that apothecary-in-chief, Organic Nature, in familiar articles of food.

As for the iron, if any one would make a first-class ferruginous tonic, he cannot do better than take a gallon of hard cider, and throw into it a couple of handfuls of the scales, which the brawny arm of the blacksmith scatters from his red-hot bars in starry showers. A small wineglassful of this before each meal will work wonders.

Besides the friction we have mentioned as a stimulant to the skin, and which is not well borne by every one, there is another resource_electricity. The use of this agent in medicine is becoming more and more extended every year, and in its different forms, its value as a cosmetic is very great. One of the simplest means of applying it is to wear silk next the skin. As we have already said, any friction then disturbs the electrical condition of the skin, and produces a flush. If the battery is used, brushes made for the purpose are passed rapidly over the surface, causing a not unpleasant tickling sensation, and bringing the blood to the minute vessels with marked force. That method which is called “general electrization," is especially applicable to cases such as we have been describing.

General paleness, we have said, is hardly a disease, as many persons have it all their lives, and seem to enjoy good health. But when a limited portion of the skin becomes much whiter than the rest, and especially

[blocks in formation]

when it is a dull or a glossy white, then there is some actual mischief going on. Such spots not unfrequently occur on the hands and face, remaining stationary for years, and giving no uneasiness except what is mental.

They are allied to that singular bleaching of color which makes " albinoes” in the colored races. Everyone who has seen many negroes has observed some with these white spots on them. They arise from a want of coloring matter in the skin, and are not easily effaced. What is needed, is to stimulate the little cells beneath the epidermis to take up the coloring matter in the blood, as is their duty. To accomplish this, thorough and repeated electrization is one of the best agents. Or the spots may be frequently rubbed with a tincture prepared by pouring spirits of camphor on red peppers. Or, this failing, a small quantity of the following ointment, highly extolled by a distinguished French surgeon, may be rubbed in three times a day:

Take

Tannic acid two scruples;
Fresh lard one ounce;

Otto of roses two drops.
Mix, and see that it is preserved from rancidity.

Leprosy is a disease of terrible renown which is characterized by a dead-white skin. The leper is still a dreaded object, banished from the family and shunned in the street, in Oriental countries. The disease is contagious, and next to incurable. Even a shake of the

hand is enough to convey it. If it were more prevalent in this country, we would adduce this as another reason why this nuisance of promiscuous hand-shaking should be suppressed. Fortunately, it is extremely uncommon, and when met with is apparently not communicable.

The disfigurement is, however, permanent and distinct. In the instance of one young married lady, with whom we were acquainted, the excessive whiteness was modified by long-continued small doses of nitrate of silver, which gives the skin a bluish or violet tint, not desirable, indeed, but in her opinion preferable to the leprous chalkiness.

This effect of nitrate of silver or lunar caustic, as it is familiarly termed, is certain to follow its long-continued use. But as its consideration does not come under the present heading, we must commence a new section under the title

DISCOLORATIONS FROM NITRATE OF SILVER.

When these result from merely handling a stick or a solution of lunar caustic, they should be washed in a solution of iodide of potassium, which will change them from a brown to a dead white, and then removed by a solution of ammonia (spirits of hartshorn).

But when, as just mentioned, the whole body has a violet or blue tinge, the question is more serious. Unfortunately, some years ago, the nitrate obtained quite a reputation for curing epilepsy, and though it rarely

THE STUPID SUN.

225

answered the expectations of physicians and patients, it was administered and continued for a long time in a large number of cases. Moreover, most of the hair dyes which are vended for imparting a “glossy black,” or a "lustrous brown,"contain this powerful ingredient in considerable quantities, and several cases are on record where ladies, who freely used such nostrums, finished by obtaining the coveted color not only on their hair, but on the whole body. From these causes, there are many persons living who carry on their hands and faces the lasting imprint of this drug.

This is as much as saying that any ready means of removal is not known. Such, in fact, is the case, but still there are instances on record where a successful result is asserted to have been obtained by a persevering use of dilute nitric acid internally, and frequent ablutions in water containing iodide of potassium.

SUNBURN, TAN, AND FRECKLES.

The sun is no friend of a dainty visage. The belles of yore knew this, and jealously guarded their charms from its rays, lest they should become, like Cleopatra,

“ With Phæbus' amorous pinches, black.' 6 The stupid sun;" said a great lady of the days of le Grande Monarque, "all it does is to spoil beauty and show ugliness!”

Now-a-days, we are content to parry its attacks with

parasols, veils, and "sundowns." These are sufficient in our more active lives, and we may well dispense with the masks, the closed and darkened carriages, and the sombre rooms, in which those pampered dames indulged. Then, too, perhaps we have means to remove the traces of exposure more rapidly than they.

Sunburn, no one needs to be informed, is the redness which remains on the skin after exposure to high heat. The skin peels off, and the surface is hot, inflamed, and tender. It may be produced by the sun, or the same effect may follow sitting too near a hot fire, or from bending over a brazier or a stove. Those who cherish a delicate complexion should never sit too near the fire or the flue. When the exposure is only occasional, we can readily remove it, but when frequently repeated, it is extremely intractable. For an occasional sunburn, the following pomade is really good. It may be applied at night after washing the skin, and be allowed to remain until morning. It not only lessens the redness, but soothes the burning, dry, and irritated feeling of the skin :

Take-
Spermaceti

two ounces ;
Oil of almond

two ounces ; Honey

one teaspoonful; Otto of roses (or any scent) a few drops.

Melt the spermaceti in a pipkin, then add the oil of almonds, and when they are thoroughly mixed, stir in

« 이전계속 »