Sources: Papers On Health

By this term we mean not only the sensible perspiration

which is felt as a distinct wetness on the skin during exertion or

heat, or in some illnesses, but also, and chiefly, the constant

insensible perspiration. This latter is far more important than the

former. No one could live many hours without it, for by its means

several pounds weight of waste is got rid of every day. Its importance

we saw lately in the case of a child greatly swollen in dropsy. A

flannel BANDAGE (see) wrung out of warm water, placed round the body,

reduced this swelling completely, without any sensible sign of

excretion. A very gentle treatment, increasing this insensible

sweating, will often cure without weakening, where violent perspiring

medicines or treatment cause great weakness. A damp flannel bandage

placed round the lower half of the body all night for a few nights will

produce a remarkable increase of insensible perspiration, and in many

case forms a good substitute for sweating drugs. Along with this the

soapy lather may be used at bedtime all over the skin (see Lather and

Soap). We have seen a swelling of the hand, which made a medical man

talk of amputation, cured by these means. Acetic acid, or white-wine

vinegar, rubbed over the skin, produces a similar increase of

insensible perspiration, and may be used without fear of injury. This

done once a week will go far to reduce sensitiveness to cold. Indeed,

the use of M'Clinton's soap and water, along with good acetic acid

sponging once a week, will prevent many serious ills by securing a

constant gentle excretion of hurtful waste through the stimulated skin.