Sources: Papers On Health
Infants are often troubled with large red,
angry-looking spots, breaking out over the body, and causing trouble by
their heat and itching. These are commonly known as hives. If the water
in which a child is washed be hard, it will sometimes cause the skin to
inflame and become "hivey." If the soap has much soda in it, it will
also cause this. What is called glycerine soap, and much of what is
sold as peculiarly desirable, is utterly unsuitable for an infant's
skin. Soda soap will cause serious outbreaks even worse than "hives,"
and will often not be suspected at all, as a cause.
Only M'Clinton's soap, which is made from the ash of plants, should be
used on tender skins.
When the "hives" are not very troublesome, they are apt to be
neglected; but this should not be, as in most cases this is the time
they may be easily cured. The true element in cure is found in
attention to the skin, as distinct from the stomach or blood.
M'Clinton's soap (see Soap) applied as fine creamy lather will cure
hives, and will never, we think, fail to do so. We know of a nurse
plastering an infant's body with this soap, so that it was blistered.
This is a totally wrong way of working. The right way is to work the
soap and hot water as described in article Lather, and to apply it
gently with the brush to the parts affected. After applying it with
gentle rubbing for some time, and leaving some on the sore places, the
infant will usually be soothed to sleep. Where over-cooling is feared,
with a weak child, a little olive oil is gently rubbed on with the
second coat of lather. In any case of itchiness the above treatment is
almost certain to cure. Often the infant is suffering from too rich
diet. (See Children's Food.) In such cases, thinner milk, and a
little fluid magnesia administered internally will effect a cure.