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Source: Papers On Health
This troublesome disease is also known as St. Anthony's
Fire, or the Rose. The skin becomes fiery red or even purplish in hue.
A violent heat and pain in the part accompany this, and fever and
general disturbance of the system follow in a severe case. Swelling of
the parts follows, with much distress and danger. Air irritates
violently the sore parts, and is usually excluded.
In curing the trouble, regard must be had to the cause, which is
usually a general failure of strength from overwork, worry, or some
other disease. If a cure is to be effected, rest of mind and body is
necessary, and must be secured at any possible cost. For local
application, the sore parts are thickly dusted with fine fresh flour,
and covered with soft wadding or surgeon's lint. The air is excluded,
and all is kept strictly dry. A waterproof covering over the lint
will help this, but is not absolutely necessary.
But, now, is there nothing that can be done to quicken that inner
action, the slowness of which has paved the way for all this mischief?
This might be done in two ways. After the affected parts, say the face,
have been secured in this pack of flour, it will be easy to place a hot
blanket, soaked partly, but not at all wet, with boiling water, all
round the head of the patient. As soon as the heat begins to enter the
head, a sense of comfort will be experienced. Care must be taken to
keep the inner cloths dry, and heat is best given by an india-rubber
bag. When this cannot be had, however, the blanket may be used. At
intervals, as the patient feels it desirable, this fomentation may be
renewed. It will hasten recovery as well as arrest the spreading of the
malady, while it will secure such recovery as will not readily dispose
to a return of the evil. The feet and legs are likely to be cold. As
the sufferer lies still in bed, but not when the other fomentation is
on, these should be wrapped in a hot fomentation, allowed to lie in it
for a good half-hour, taken out of it and dried, rubbed with warm olive
oil, and covered with a pair of soft cotton stockings. If this
treatment is at all well carried out, the feeling of comfort given will
soon tell how it is working. Of course, if the feet and legs are the
parts affected, the fomentation must be applied elsewhere, say on the
back, or on the haunches.
Where erysipelas appears in connection with wounds or sores, the same
treatment is to be pursued, as far as possible consistent with dressing
the sores. These should be carefully cleansed, dusted with boric acid,
and covered with a layer of wadding bandage. The limb should be raised
to a horizontal position. Simple food should be given, and the sufferer
kept quiet. In all cases of skin trouble, linen should be worn next the
skin. See Underwear.