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Medical ArticlesOther Bad Symptoms
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Lather How To Make
Source: Papers On Health
One of the most powerful soothing influences
which can be had, is found in the lather of M'Clinton's soap, so often
recommended in these pages. Applied to the skin over a stomach which
has been rejecting all food, and even retching on emptiness, for hours,
it will almost at once stop the irritation. Applied to the head it is
invaluable (see Brain; Head; Hearing, etc.), and in many cases we
have known it perform almost miracles of soothing effect. But the
lather must be rightly made, and none but this soap used, if good
results are to be got. Lather is first Soap, secondly Water, and
thirdly Air, so wrought together to make a mass like whipped cream,
or only a little more fluid. To get this, dip a good shaving brush in
hot water, rub it on the soap a little, take another slight dip of hot
water, and work the brush in the hollow of the left hand patiently,
until you have a handful of fine creamy foam, sufficiently solid not to
run like water, and yet as soft in its consistency as cream. There is
in the hand just the temperature, consistency, and shape that are
required for working the lather, and no dish can properly replace it.
The lather is to be gathered from the hand with the brush (a soft
badger's-hair one preferred), and laid with it on the skin of the
patient wherever necessary. Then another handful is quickly made, and
so on until the required surface is covered. Or the lather may be
transferred to a hot dish, placed over a bowl of boiling water, till
enough is ready. After the application, a soft handkerchief may be laid
loosely on, and, if the lather is to remain on as a pack, a dry
covering put over this.
In many cases where it is inconvenient to apply the lather direct to
the skin, it may be spread on a warm cloth of soft and clean linen or
cotton, and this laid over the part to be treated before it is cold.
This will also apply where the patient is too weak to sit or lie in the
position required for lathering the skin. A dry cloth must be put on
the top of the soapy one, and all fastened on by proper wrapping. In
cases, however, where the skin has to be lathered in order to soothe
the nervous system or to allay irritation of internal organs, it is
well, if at all possible, to apply the lather direct to the skin, as
Lather of this soap, made in this way, may be spread on the most
sensitive sores (when ulcers have eaten through both outer and inner
skins) with only a very slight feeling of smarting to the patient, and
with the most healing effect. It is very different with soda soap made
in the usual way. When the skin of the head has got inflamed (as we saw
in the case of a child the other day, where the back of the head was a
matted mass of most distressing sores), it is charming to see the
effect of this lather. We took a number of handfuls of it, and soaked
the matted hair and inflamed skin till the poor child looked up with an
expression of astonished relief.
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